Peel Dream Magazine | Pad
Peel Dream Magazine | Pad

Peel Dream Magazine | Pad

LP

Vendor
Tough Love Records
Regular price
£22.00
Sale price
£22.00
Unit price
per 
Shipping calculated at checkout.
TLV157LP

On yellow vinyl.

With his third album as Peel Dream Magazine, Joseph Stevens beckons you toward a fabulist, zig-zag world entirely of his own design. On Pad, he eschews the fuzzy glories of his indie pop past – vibraphone trembles while chamber strings take center stage. The curtains lift to reveal banjo. Chimes. Farfisa. And as he lets out a moan atop the album’s title track, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary performance. A conceptual work about losing oneself when all they have is themself, Pad gestures towards an exciting new future for Stevens’ pop moniker by reimagining its own very existence.

The follow-up to 2020’s breakthrough album Agitprop Alterna, Pad presents a major sonic evolution for the 34 year old songwriter, who moved to Los Angeles amid the cataclysm that same year. Seventies era drum machines and synthesizers remain here, but he’s traded his buzzing offset guitar for a nylon-string, opting for a gentle baroque pop sound steeped in Bossa, folk, and its own eerie mysticism. Alongside mid century touchstones like Burt Bacharach, Stevens draws on the cultishly-beloved tinkerings of late-1960s Beach Boys, offering a surreal melange of vintage organs and found percussion, as well as Harry Nilsson’s 1970 song tapestry The Point!.

And similar to The Point!, Pad is a conceptual work reflecting on isolation and identity. The album tells a bedtime story in which Stevens’ bandmates kick him out of Peel Dream Magazine – banished and now without purpose, he sets out on a journey to rejoin the band. Misadventures ensue, such as when he joins a cult on “Self Actualization Center”, featuring friend and oft collaborator Winter. But this is also music that’s purely pleasurable in its own context, as our protagonist explores the boundaries of easy-listening with discordant textures, and bleeps and bloops that tickle. Songs like “Pictionary” chime delicately with sinister intent, evoking a palette that is outright Mod. Pad also recalls the space age bachelor stylings of Stereolab and The High Llamas, with an occult twist that borrows from Tropicalia legends Os Mutantes.

01. Not In The Band
02. Pad
03. Pictionary
04. Wanting And Waiting
05. Self-Actualization Center
06. Walk Around The Block
07. Hamlet
08. Penelope’s Suitors
09. Hiding Out
10. Jennifer Hindsight
11. Reiki
12. La Sol
13. Message The Manager
14. Roll In The Hay
15. Back In The Band