Surreal is an uplifting, progressive pop/rock band from Atlanta whose music explores some of life's most extraordinary moments. This vision took them to a top 25 spot on national indie radio!
Corey fell in love with music before he could even walk (one of his first sentences was a B-52's lyric: "Tin roof, rusted!") but what really solidified his path as a musician was writing his first song. He was awestruck at music's ability to capture the exact feeling of a moment. What if you could crystallize the scenes of your life that are truly extraordinary—the ones that you never want to forget?
Along with childhood friend Brandon Horsley, the two have been collaborating together since they first met in 1993 when Corey moved to Georgia from Washington DC. Although very different personalities, their shared pursuit of great music enables them to work as perfect complements to each other.
When Corey became fascinated with songwriting in his teens, he began a lifelong process of honing his craft. In 2009, he graduated from the Berklee College of Music with a degree in Contemporary Writing and Production. After a few years of learning as much as possible and working on various musical projects in Boston, he soon moved back to Georgia to start the next step in his musical journey.
An important part of Surreal's creation was Corey's discovery of progressive rock. To the uninitiated, it might seem that all music has to offer are three minute, four chord songs. But with bands like Rush and Dream Theater, there are musical challenges and intricacies. There's grandeur and artistry— exploring every facet of what music can be, instead of only what's safe. Hearing these rare possibilities was a defining factor in Corey's artistic journey.
On the other side of the coin, he's also been equally influenced by artists who know how to find the wonder in our human experience and convey it through more straightforward means. This includes bands like The Smashing Pumpkins and U2, whose music is characterized by its undeniable passion and strong emotions. Brandon's influences tend to be a bit heavier, ranging from RA to 30 Seconds to Mars, but run the same gamut of both pop/rock and progressive artists.
Corey and Brandon longed to hear a style of music that laid somewhere in between these two extremes. It seemed that many progressive bands viewed emotion and songwriting as secondary to showing off their technical chops, and pop/rock bands could sometimes fall into the trap of becoming bland or predictable.
The music of Surreal is unique because it's a cross between these two worlds: progressive rock with its sense of grandeur and demanding instrumental writing, and the pop/rock world of catchy hooks and emotional connection. Factor in Corey's ambition to create songs that act as snapshots of life's exceptional experiences and the result is truly ambitious.
When they met bassist Daniel Graham and drummer Jeffrey Matthews, it was a perfect fit. Both members of the rhythm section had come from crossover prog backgrounds, and together the quartet started working on further defining and exploring Surreal's sound.
These songs are often reflections on love, faith, and adventure. Pain is looked at with an honest eye as well, in order to provide camaraderie and catharsis in the midst of the struggles we all face. No matter what themes are being explored, the end result is a clear intention to uplift- and to do so in a musically interesting way.
Corey Lennox – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keyboard
Brandon Horsley – Keyboard
Daniel Graham - Bass, Vocals
Jeffrey Matthews - Drums, Vocals
Starmaps & Constellations - June 24, 2020
The Rush - December 4, 2017
The Autumn EP - April 2, 2014
Someday Was Today – May 28, 2011
Neal Morse, Rush, Dream Theater, Marillion, Dashboard Confessional, Muse, Spock's Beard, Smashing Pumpkins, U2, ATB, Justin King, The Cure, Styx, Enchant, Something Corporate, Eileen Esposito, Van Halen, Angels & Airwaves