Joe Stevens' Peel Dream Magazine project has dazzled savvy listeners for the last several years with its tuneful yet hypnotic synthesis of post-punk, shoegaze, 60s pop and motorik kosmische grooves. Their most recent salvo of the album "Agitprop Alterna" and companion EP "Moral Panics" was one of the few bright spots of a pandemic-wracked 2021.
Now Stevens is back with "Pad," an altogether more conceptual work informed by his own journey in and out of Peel Dream, his experiences with soundtrack scoring, and his abiding love of Brian Wilson, Harry Nilsson and The High Llamas. "Pad" draws on influences from baroque pop to bossa nova, folk and mid-century orchestral, from Burt Bacharach-era 60s pop to first wave homemade post-punk. It's a unique sound that is at once relaxing and engaging and makes a most satisfying next step in the Peel Dream Magazine trajectory.