Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Peel Dream Magazine conjures up a familiar dreamscape.

Photo by Andy Schilling
Peel Dream Magazine is based in New York and led by Joe Stevens. When I recently spun their forthcoming album Agitprop Alterna I noted that it was interesting but seemed unfocused. I didn't realize that the music was the delivery system meant to burrow under your skin and keep tugging at your consciousness.*

Something about the music kept nagging at me—it felt so alien yet so familiar. And then I cracked it! On Agitprop Alterna Peel Dream is stitching together fragments to create a whole a la the more psych-y Elephant 6 bands like Olivia Tremor Control.**

Which begs the question—do I like this because it reminds me of something else or do I like it on its own merits?**** That's a valid question with any band, but in this case I was trying to puzzle out why Agitprop Alterna's songs didn't initially connect until WHAMMO they totally did. My conclusion? I just let go, stopped thinking, and accepted that these tunes have something I can't identify that makes them stick. And sometimes it's better to give into the mystery than it is to think everything through too far.

You can stream the first three songs below. It's not the same as immersing yourself om the full album but it's a good taste of what to expect when you can hear the whole thing upon its release a week from this Friday.

*I am doing everything I can to avoid making some sort of viral comparison with the music infecting you. Even though that's a much simpler way of conveying the feeling I was trying to cpature. But, y'know...

**I just went back and read the press release after writing this (something I tend to avoid doing until after recording my first impressions of a band I'm unfamiliar with) and it noted that the group's first album was "a mysterious, liminal tribute to the hazy end of ‘90s dream-pop" so I don't think I'm too far off here as far as Stevens and his compatriots' intentions.***

***And now you know some of these footnotes are added as I write, and a few get added after I'm done. A peek behind the curtain! Whoo! [Dear reader responds to this with a massive eyeball, sighing.]

****Sorry for "begging the question" but in this instance I went the straightforward route and didn't try and do any backflips in search of a unique way of saying that. Priorities.

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