Brea Fournier & the Dream Ballet is a talented and unique band that we are so excited to talk further with. Big welcome! You just released a new single. Congrats! Talk with me on the single and how it came together.
Hi! Thank you so much for having me! My name is Brea Fournier, and as you might have guessed, I am the frontwoman of the Dream Ballet. The band and I recently finished recording our debut album, a rock opera called Manic Pixie Dream Girl! The story follows the titular protagonist on a journey of proving to her audience, and herself, that she is more than the infamous, shallow film archetype for which she was named. “Petty Stuff” is the first single from this 12 song monster of a project that we’ve been immersed in creating for over a year now. At this point in the story, Manic Pixie Dream Girl is coming to terms with her humanness and is fed up with trying to maintain a constant fake happy attitude for the sake of toxic positivity. She begins to rant about anything and everything that pisses her off, from social media culture to Gwyneth Paltrow, and lets her words fuel her revenge as she rips herself free from the miserable white-picket-fence world of unending comparison. It’s got a super distinct early 2000s vibe, so if you grew up on Avril Lavigne and Paramore like I did, it’s definitely up your alley.
We love following along with you on social media. Do you enjoy getting to create content for your fans and what platform to connect with them is your favorite?
Even though this song is, in some ways, a pretty direct attack on social media itself, I’ve begun to heal my relationship with the internet by reframing my thought process around it. Though it’s full of unrealistic beauty standards and causes us to have such a linear expectation for life achievements, from an artistic standpoint it really is a streamlined vehicle extremely useful for connecting with listeners. I started posting regularly on TikTok last Spring, sharing glimpses of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl! project as it was in development, and wow was the response encouraging. When I first posted a video of me performing the album’s opening monologue at a Dream Ballet show, I received so many heartfelt comments from viewers who really connected with what I had to say and offered their own experiences in return. The mission of this project is to turn the spotlight on anyone––especially women and non-men––who has ever felt that they fall outside of society’s narrow expectations and predetermined archetypes. There is power and beauty in having a tool that pushes your art to not only those who will appreciate it, but those who need it, and I am very excited to continue growing my social media presence so that I may pursue this connection to its maximum potential.
This year is flying by – what has been your highlight of the year so far and what are you looking forward to as a group?
It sure is! We wrapped recording of the album with our incredible producer Barb Morrison (Franz Ferdinand/Blondie) in December 2022, so this year we’ve been seeing the evolution of the album’s sound through the mixing and mastering process, which has been just wildly fascinating. Jonathan Jetter (Joe Jonas/blackbear), our mixing engineer, brought the songs to a vivid neon color I never imagined possible. We are also greatly fortunate to be working with mastering engineer Randy Merrill, whose most recent work happens to include some of my favorite albums like Taylor Swift’s Midnights, Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour, and Miley Cyrus’s Plastic Hearts, the latter two of which were massive inspirations of ours throughout the recording process. His touch is pure magic and has brought the infectious, punchy emotion of “Petty Stuff” to an absolute fever pitch. To hear songs that used to exist only in my head transform into something tangible through the hard work of such an array of talented individuals is indescribably fulfilling.
We are so, so excited for the release of this single (and a couple more before the full album’s release…) and to get started on the next component of this project. Manic Pixie Dream Girl! is really a multimedia piece in three parts as the album will also inform a corresponding stage show and feature-length musical film of the same name, written by myself and my dear friend and collaborator, filmmaker Karol Nowak III. You can stay tuned for all of the latest updates by following the project’s instagram account @manicpixiedreamgirlproject.
How did the group start? What is the history with you together as a band?
I met Ben Shanblatt, lead guitarist for the Dream Ballet, when we were 17 at Berklee College of Music’s 5 week summer program. We were thrilled when we were both accepted to top music schools in New York City and we reconvened playing music together during our time as students there, me at the Clive Davis Institute and Ben at The New School. Ben introduced me to his classmate Sophia Bondi, who is now our drummer, and she and I instantly hit it off both as friends and bandmates. Noah Rosner, our bass player, and I met in another NYU band’s pretty wild mosh pit. Our musical backgrounds couldn’t be more varied, but I believe the four of us have something special together when we play my music, and I just can’t wait for everyone to hear it and––hopefully––love it as much as we do.
Thank you for your time today – where can we listen to the new music and follow you anywhere else?
Our debut single “Petty Stuff” will be available on all streaming platforms beginning on Friday, May 19th. It will also be available as a sound on TikTok, and I’ve loved seeing everyone’s lip syncs so far, so please show me yours and tag me @breafournier! My instagram is also @breafournier and you can follow our band @dreamballetband.
And now, a quick little message for our listeners: Remember not to let toxic positivity culture get you down––anger is inevitable and it is your right to speak your truth! Send us a DM and let us know what makes you feel petty. Thank you so much for all your wonderful support so far. We hope this song is as cathartic for you as it has been for us.
End of Interview