Peel Dream Magazine, the project of the once New York, now LA-based auteur Joseph Stevens, reset the dials on their third long-player, the ambitiously conceptualised Pad, out today. And right on time for Bandcamp Friday, i should add…

Across its 15 tracks Pad imagines Stevens being kicked from his own band and embarking on a Homerian odyssey of tongue-in-cheek self-discovery, which takes in West Coast wellness hokum, bent music industry trevails (like they’re not the same thing!), inter-personal politics and the sense that maybe, like Dorothy discovering that she was home all along, the problem was always their lying at your own front door. The great conceit is wrapped in a spiralling mix of bossa nova, bedroom exotica and space age pop, a fantastical marriage of Smiley Smile-era Beach Boys, Jon Brion atmosphere and High Llamas sonic exploration that’s some way removed from their previous flirtations with shoegaze aesthetics.

Clinking drum machines intersect with pretty string arrangements, nylon string guitars and Stevens lilting and often poetic vocal, in what mostly feels like a sunspotted daydream daze. It’s a bold change of pace impressively realised, that, even at 15 tracks and amidst increasingly ornate arrangements, feels neatly compact. While the shift to LA is not insignificant, the whole thing bears some comparison to the work of fellow New Yorkers, the Lilys, whose forays into psychedelic pop often felt conceptually rooted in a set of absurdist characters and scenarios. Now maybe all Peel Dream Magazine need is a Levi’s advert for the wider world to wake up to their genius vision..


Pad is available digitally, on CD, yellow vinyl and a green vinyl Dinked edition w/ 7” & poster limited to 400 copies available only through Dinked collective stores.

Buy/stream/download Pad here.