Corey Cunningham's Business of Dreams is all about emotional catharsis. When his father passed away a few years ago, Cunningham took leave from his long-running Bay Area/LA musical partnerships Magic Bullets and Terry Malts to return to his home state of Tennessee to grieve and confront his past.
Making music to cope with this loss resulted in Business of Dreams' lovely eponymous debut album, an unexpected pop pleasure that wound up on Bandcamp's and Raven Sings The Blues' year-end lists for 2017. Soon the live version of Business Of Dreams took shape as Cunningham opened for Rogue Wave on a national tour and played scores of local shows with Frankie Rose, Real Estate and many others.
With his new album "Ripe For Anarchy," Cunningham has honed the songwriting with an eye towards regret, existence, and perseverance. "When I’m gone you won’t cry for me, focus on the moment, be free," he sings on "Chasing That Feeling." And that’s the mantra here: it’s time to let go. "The album is about living in the moment, shedding neurosis, and the desire to discard the general societal malaise we’ve been roped into."
"Ripe For Anarchy" is a through-and-through ode to indie pop, in the historic definition of the genre. "My Old Town" and "N.R.E.A.M." could be album cuts on a Grant McLennan solo album, "Don’t Let Our Time Expire" and "Naive Scenes" could be The Smiths, the Sparklehorse cover "The Hatchet Song" bears an uncanny resemblance to Australian pop pioneers Even As We Speak, and "I Feel Dread" has the unmistakable earmarks of The Field Mice.
And while he may be more noted for playing guitar in Terry Malts, Smokescreens, and Merge Records' Mike Krol's backing band, Cunningham is most at home making soft sounds extolling the wounded and mournful. "I think music is the most personal of mediums. You can work and listen, you can run and listen, you can drive and listen. And I think I’m a misfit. If I can make the most personal music for misfits, then I’m satisfied."