Clare Maloney & The Great Adventure: Dream Within a Dream

Hana Gustafson on March 29, 2023
Clare Maloney & The Great Adventure: Dream Within a Dream

“The night before the first show I did at Port Chester, N.Y.’s Garcia’s with The Englishtown Project, I was actually singing at Carnegie Hall. So I did a contemporary opera at Carnegie Hall, and the next night I was playing some Grateful Dead at Garcia’s,” Clare Maloney says with a chuckle, reflecting on the long, strange path that led to her debut studio album, Daybreaker. “It traverses so many different landscapes for the listener as you move through the album.”

On Daybreaker, Maloney quickly proves that she is deftly able to balance those seemingly divergent interests. “I always love going to the symphony or the opera and listening to the orchestra tune,” she says of the album’s scene-setting opening instrumental number, “Prelude,” and its subsequent rock anthem follow-up, “Legend Lives On,” which is powered by her band The Great Adventure.

Discussing Daybreaker en route to her first album release show, Maloney makes sure not to bury the lead. “I had writer’s block for 11 years,” she says. “It just took a while for me to rewire that voice in my head and to have it be nurturing and supportive.”

Though all the songs on Daybreaker were created after the musician regained her footing, she cites “Civilized” as one of the tracks that truly set her on her path. “I was like, ‘OK, so maybe I can do this thing,’” she explains. Elsewhere on the album, Maloney and her collaborators—Nate DeBrine, Caleb Estey, Larry Cook, Nathan Graham, Damian Calcagne, Russell Gottlieb and Dave Reiss—dig into their rock roots on the LP’s title track, with Maloney’s vocals meticulously matching her group’s instrumental peaks and valleys.

“Dream Within a Dream” spotlights Maloney’s softer side, and the ensemble embrace their inner headbanger on “Making My Way Up,” a prime cut packed with throbbing drums and soaring guitars. The singer admits that “Never Done That Before” has a bit of a P-Funk vibe, while “Song to the Moon” offers some gentler reflections. “I just sat outside in the driveway, so all the cricket sounds you hear on that were really there,” Maloney says. “[It’s] as if you were sitting right outside with me when I was singing it.”