M. Lockwood Porter acknowledges that a song title like "The Dream is Dead" might be construed as "pessimistic or negative." But the Tulsa-based singer-songwriter believes the energetic track and its video, premiering exclusively below, has a more uplifting message behind it.
"For me it's a hopeful song, a hopeful sentiment," Porter, whose new album, Communion in the Ashes, comes out March 29, tells Billboard. "In a lot of the song I am detailing problems in our society. When a lot of people realize that the American Dream they thought you might achieve may not exist, it's traumatic. But afterwards you're kind of freed up to imagine all sorts of other ways of living. It's kind of like a first step to imagining a whole new way we could organize society."
The video, meanwhile, depicts the Yale-educated Porter playing a kind of Johnny Appleseed character, posting flyers featuring an assortment of affirmations (actually the album's song titles) in public places – not always with a positive results. "I'm kind of like this Pied Piper trying to inspire people, or at least plant a seed that you may not have everything you want or you might not like the life you have, but it isn't over. You can still try to make it better, somehow," he says. "We present it as something that's not gonna be easy; I don't have 100 percent success and I get turned down and beaten up. But there are little glimmers of hope in there, too."