Dreamboy – Someone is changing all the streetlights in Pepper Heights, Cleveland. The color of nighttime is shifting. Everyone thinks they know what happened at the Pepper Heights Zoo… But do they, really?
Meet Dane, a spun-out musician whose looking for a break from big city living and finds himself in Cleveland, Ohio. When he’s not working at the Pepper Heights Zoo he can usually be found at late night grocery stores, thumbing away on Grindr and neglecting his plant watering duties. So it’s not the most exciting break but Dane is getting along just fine. That is until he starts having strange dreams. Really strange dreams. Oh, there’s also a murderous zebra for some reason. Dreamboy, one of the newest podcasts from Nightvale Presents, is a bizarre yet elegant tale about “…dreams, about forevers, about flickering lights, about unexplained deaths, about relentless change, and about the parts of ourselves that we wish other people knew to look for.”
You know that feeling that you’ve been waiting for something for a really long time? And you didn’t know you’ve been waiting or that you needed it until it kinda just appeared? That thing for me was Dreamboy. Ten minutes into the first episode I knew I was hooked. It’s the perfect combination of dreamy, fairytale-like storytelling and those familiar pseudo-absurd elements (such as a murderous zebra) that Welcome to Nightvale fans know and love. Co-created by Dane Terry and Ellie Heyman, I can say with certainty that Dreamboy is one of the most essential podcasts of 2018 and (I’m aware I say this a lot) one of my favorite podcasts ever; it’s breathtaking and surreal writing makes the episodes feel like a mini acid trip. And what makes the trip even more magical is the music.
I’m not talking about some well composed background music. I’m talking songs. Gorgeous, hilarious and very catchy songs made just for this podcast and composed by professional cool person Dane Terry! This past week in particular I’ve been going back to episodes just to listen to those wonderful songs again. I can’t remember wanting a soundtrack to be made so badly. Even if this podcast turns out not to be your thing, which is unlikely, the music definitely will be.
I should point out that Dreamboy isn’t a family friendly show. At times our main character, played by Dane Terry (does this guy ever sleep?!), discusses some pretty graphic sexual situations. So if that’s not something you’re comfortable with, then nobody will blame you for sitting this one out. Though I urge you to at least listen to the first episode.
Of course, all the amazing music in the world doesn’t mean anything to a podcast if the storytelling isn’t up to par. But Dreamboy doesn’t have to worry about that. Dane Terry deliverers a wonderful performance as Dane in each episode, though I think my favorite characters are the trio of creepy girl scouts.
Honestly, you couldn’t pay me to say a bad word about this podcast. It’s the right amount of funny, creepy and beautiful wrapped up in one glorious bundle that I would hug if I could. With only four episodes currently out, ranging from 26 to 47 minutes long, there is plenty of time for a new listener to catch up. Dreamboy is available wherever you get your podcasts, including the Nightvale Presents page!