AFTER DINNER WE TALK DREAMS is an invitation to dance through rosy spring melodies

AFTER+DINNER+WE+TALK+DREAMS+by+MICHELLE+was+released+on+March+4%2C+2022.

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AFTER DINNER WE TALK DREAMS by MICHELLE was released on March 4, 2022.

Passionately from the passenger seat, I argued my definition of “spring music,” queuing songs that epitomized my point to play over the aux. A Shamrock Shake rested in the cupholder beside me, my friends filled the seats in the car around me, and the road stretched pale gray ahead of us. 

It was a sixty-degree day meant for a slippery hike, meant for rosy memories and unparalleled happiness, meant for laughter and lyrics—so distinctly March. 

In the cold days since that one, AFTER DINNER WE TALK DREAMS has given a melody to those memories. It’s bubbles and ribbons of pink and yellow and green and orange. It’s clumsy dancing on the sidewalk, around the kitchen, across my room as I fold clothes. It’s the feeling of being one with the world and the people around me—so very connected, love of every variety, handholding, and heads on shoulders. 

AFTER DINNER WE TALK DREAMS consists of 14 songs and was released on Mar. 4th, 2022 by MICHELLE—a predominantly POC and queer pop/R&B group based in New York City. In its essence, it is every shade of spring, all of the promises, the clarity, the infectious enthusiasm for what’s to come.

“SPACED OUT PHASED OUT” progresses with the languid ease of drifting pink petals, of an open highway painted in pastel blues and greens and grays. It’s those early spring days when the wind blows in through the rolled-down windows as I pull out of my neighborhood and leaves my cheeks chilled long after I’ve rolled the windows up again. 

In its essence, [AFTER DINNER WE TALK DREAMS] is every shade of spring, all of the promises, the clarity, the infectious enthusiasm for what’s to come.”

It ripples with the shape of waves on a beach in early March, sandy and snowy, empty aside from the occasional picnicker. There is a loosely woven blend of sound that parallels the watercolor of clouds and color overhanging the shore—techno sounds punctuating the backdrop and contrasting acoustic threads, painted over with the staircase of vocals. 

That same languid ease fades into purples and blues and grays in “NO SIGNAL (feat. Isa Reyes),” but as I cruise down the highway this song paints, I find myself trading the stillness of cold waves washing onto the shore for a different kind of solitude—the kind that exists between buildings reaching for the sky and people reaching for their dreams. 

Where “SPACED OUT PHASED OUT” glides and flows, “NO SIGNAL (feat. Isa Reyes)” skips and trots, footsteps defined on the pavement. It’s the way the world fades away when I put my headphones in, leaving only me, a solitary and vibrant pillar amidst an ever-changing landscape. It’s the way the city moves on outside the car windows—never stopping for any one person. 

The gray-and-blue-based palettes of “SPACED OUT PHASED OUT” and “NO SIGNAL (feat. Isa Reyes)” become a spectrum of browns and beiges in “50/50”—a song that climbs up from a seed rooted in passion and desperation, branching out like the limbs of a tree, and blossoming vivid pink blooms at its chorus.

“50/50” is catchy—its chorus is the kind of refrain that does loop-de-loops in my head: “I need fifty fifty/We’re zero and a hundred/It hurts you just a little/But I go catatonic.”

There’s also something very natural, very unprocessed, very acoustic about “50/50.” It’s the warm in-between of spring, those days that pepper the colder weeks and make promises that can’t be depended on just yet. It’s warm browns and beiges occasionally dappled with the golden hue of sunlight, and like those sixty-degree days, it lingers in my mind long after it’s over. 

With all the elation of spring that’s finally here to stay, “POSE” is light, rhythmic, and peachy. It’s about dancing, and it’s meant for dancing, and there is an impossible-to-ignore happiness that radiates from the lyrics. 

It’s a street in the suburbs on a day when the sun can’t help but shine, iridescent bubbles blowing in the magnolia breeze. It’s a small convenience store on a street corner with the windows thrown open, where the door jingles when it opens and wafts in the warm spring air. It’s one step there and two steps there and a beat to dance to, starry vocals to sing along with. 

Starry as ever is the fairytale opening of my favorite song on the album: “END OF THE WORLD”—a song that isn’t just meant for dancing but is, in itself, a dance. “POSE” begs me to turn whatever I’m doing into a dance, incorporate simple steps into something preexisting, but “END OF THE WORLD” implores me to drop everything to dance, to let go of all inhibitions and say what I’m thinking, dance how I’m feeling. 

To “END OF THE WORLD,” I’m dancing on a rooftop overlooking the city, dancing through each room of this house, spinning in circles in the kitchen, dancing in the car, on the sidewalk, alone in my room. 

It’s the kind of spring that clings to the precipice of summer. It’s the rosy pinks and peachy oranges and sunny yellows and lime greens that lace through the vocals of AFTER DINNER WE TALK DREAMS

AFTER DINNER WE TALK DREAMS transports me to city streets, to places where dancing is the only option, to sixty-degree days and a life interwoven with the very heart of the world. 

When AFTER DINNER WE TALK DREAMS calls me to dance, I’ll listen.