Pad

Oct 10, 2022
Web Exclusive

By Dom Gourlay


Having ridden on a wave of critical acclaim with 2020’s second LP, Agitprop Alterna, Joseph Stevens’ third record as Peel Dream Magazine is arguably his most personal to date.

Essentially a solo concept album of sorts, Pad tells the story of Stevens parting company with the rest of his band and attempting to rejoin. “Not in the Band” and “Jennifer Hindsight” revel in tales of desolate isolation, with Stevens swapping the fuzzy dream-pop of old for something more tranquil and easy listening.

Echoes of Stereolab and Broadcast rub shoulders with Van Dyke Parks-style commentary on the glorious “Self Actualization Center,” while closing number “Back in the Band” celebrates Stevens’ return to the fold with a lounge lullaby that borrows its underbelly from Burt Bacharach and Kevin Shields in equal measures. (www.peeldreammagazine.bandcamp.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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