Performing solo, Dream Eaters singer Elizabeth LeBaron stands out as a memorable chanteuse, her pliant instrument possessed of a dulcet mid-range that gracefully modulates to ethereal highs without so much as a waver. But when fellow Dream Eater Jake Zavracky begins weaving weird harmonies alongside her, the net effect is positively chill-bump-inducing, making for a mesmerizing sonic signature that sets the Brooklyn-based duo wholly apart from any of their navel-gazing peers.
“At first, Elizabeth was the only singer,” Zavracky says. “I was doing some background vocals, but that’s it. But gradually I started singing more, because we discovered pretty quick that our voices mesh really well. So our sound is kind of based around those dreamy harmonies that we do together. We could do any style of music, and if those harmonies were still there, it would still sound like us.”
Zavracky and LeBaron met only a couple of years ago, as fellow bartenders at a Brooklyn watering hole. Zavracky was a recovering heavy metal guitar player who had evolved into what he calls “singer-songwriter producer guy,” and LeBaron was an aspiring singer with a handful of demos on Soundcloud.
They decided to record a song together, on a lark. Zavracky characterizes the results of that first session as being “just okay… but enough for us to keep going.”
Strangely enough, the two never colluded on the direction of their incipient musical endeavor. Without any malice aforethought, they began producing a literate dream pop/shoegaze hybrid that’s anchored by a strong sense of craft — Zavacky is an able guitarist and songwriter, and a canny studio wizard — yet borne aloft by those weirdly majestic harmonies.
“It was strange, in that I didn’t even know what her musical tastes were until later on, when we went out on the road,” Zavracky says. “And I guess she was kind of a muse for me, when I first heard her sing. But I’m sure how it really affected how anything came out. I don’t try to write anything in a particular way. I just write the best songs that I can, and then bring the production up to where I want it to be.”
If their collaboration has been an intuitive one, it’s been remarkably fruitful, as well, with the duo having produced four EPs and one full-length album — 2017’s “We Are A Curse” — all within the space of two years. Zavracky says another album is already in the works, adding that his songwriting for next platter has taken on a more accessible cast.
“What we’re working on now seems to be going in an even more poppy direction,” he says. “It’s still weird; I don’t think I’m capable of writing a Katy Perry song. I’m too weird to write the songs that those people write, and the production certainly won’t be as slick. But it’s going more in the direction of what you hear from pop music nowadays.”
The Dream Eaters will play Preservation Pub Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 10 p.m.