Premiere: Fell Runner, ‘Dream Catching’

Fell Runner (Photo by Lisa Hagen Glynn)
Fell Runner (Photo by Lisa Hagen Glynn)

Rock sophisticates Fell Runner are not resting on the laurels of last fall’s debut album. The CalArts-birthed quartet of singer-guitarists Steven van Betten and Gregory Uhlmann, (new) bassist Marcus Högsta and drummer Tim Carr are working on new music in preparation for a residency next month at the Bootleg Theater, and like much of that album, the song “Dream Catching” is a mini-twister of tricky rhythms and fleeting melodic phrases. There’s a hint of “Graceland’s” worldbeat here as songwriter van Betten contemplates his mundane day job vs. his artistic dreams: “I spent the day dream catching / while reality kept trash talking me / and my ideas on the way things should be.”

“Dream Catching is about trying keep the fire in your belly alight, the effort to stay motivated on working towards your dreams and aspirations while simultaneously feeling defeated by the day to day worldly challenges,” van Betten says. “I wrote the lyrics while working at the Juice Drop in Atwater Village. It was my first full time day job after graduating from my undergrad at CalArts and I worked in the back putting labels on the plastic bottles. The job was incredibly repetitive and monotonous but simultaneously kind of meditative and hypnotizing.

“I kept my journal open on the counter and would just write down any ideas that would come up. A lot of the writing was focused around what I was going to make of my life now that I was out of school, how can I follow through with my goals in music and still be able to pay rent in Los Angeles. Throughout the work day I would phase back and forth from feeling really positive and excited about all of the possibilities to feeling like all the odds were against me.”

||| Stream: “Dream Catching”

||| Live: Fell Runner does the free Monday night residency at the Bootleg Theater in March, with each night featuring a different collaboration, along with art installations and exhibitions from local animators.