This one’s taken me a few tries to get a handle on. I hate to hold an artist to their past, but expectations set so far have seen Peel Dream Magazine living lovingly in the shoegaze haze that drew up around Chapterhouse and Ride, with some dreampop pit stops on his last album, and an always lingering Stereolab hangover. The dreampop swoon of tracks like “It’s My Body,” may have been subtly hinting at where Joseph Stevens was headed, but just barely. The first couple of singles on Pad feel like the workings of an entirely different band, discarding the influences of his former works like a tearaway costume change into crisp ‘60s suits and ‘70s Bossa silks. Strings sigh beneath Stevens’s croon, the guitars strum with a clear-eyed approach, wiping away any trace of the fuzzed veneer that hovered previously, and there’s just a hint of fuzzed organ. The slight hint of his Stereolab crush might be the only tether to his past as he embarks on an album culling from Bacharach, Ceatano Veloso, Harry Nilsson and Kings of Convenience. Pad is out October 7th, a joint release from Slumberland and Tough Love.
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