Sweet Dream

Album: In the Meantime (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • Alessia Cara has struggled with insomnia her whole life. When COVID hit and the Canadian found herself alone in quarantine, her disorder worsened and she knew she needed to write a song about it.

    The track finds Cara detailing her battles to fall asleep when "everybody else is snoring." She lies in bed, longing for a sweet dream, but can't quiet her running mind. She tries patchouli candles and meditation, but the "monsters under her bed" keep reminding Cara of "that one stupid thing I said."

    She told Apple Music: "I try to juxtapose a lot of the heavier themes with some more humorous lyrics or some more fun-sounding things. But ultimately the root of it was a lot of struggle and a lot of difficulty."
  • Cara released "Sweet Dream" alongside "Shapeshifter" as one of two lead singles from her third studio album, In the Meantime. While "Sweet Dream" represents the hardship and helplessness of her insomnia, "Shapeshifter" is fierier, as she reflects on conflicting emotions about her ex. Cara told Audacy's Julia that she launched a double release to preview In The Meantime because the theme of duality is a thread throughout the album.

    "Sweet Dream" represents where Cara was in early 2020, "Feeling really stuck and really lost." "Shapeshifter" represents "the after" when she felt "an acceptance of that situation."
  • Cara didn't put out "Sweet Dream" as a remedy for her struggles, but as a way to connect with others going through something similar. She told Audacy's Julia that when she's battling insomnia, oftentimes she feels like "the only person on this Earth that is awake." Because everyone else seems to knows how to sleep soundly, it's as if they all can "do life except for me."
  • Cara wrote the song with Norwegian songwriter Caroline Ailin (Dua Lipa's "New Rules" and "Don't Start Now," Sigrid's "Mirror").
  • There are three producers on the track:

    Canadian Jon Levine, who is one of Andy Grammer's go-to producers. He helmed four tracks on In the Meantime.

    Los Angeles songwriter and producer Jason Evigan, who has also worked with Dua Lipa, Demi Lovato, Dan + Shay and Maroon 5.

    Spencer Stewart (Olivia O'Brien's "Josslyn," Alina Baraz's "To Me").

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