PEEL DREAM MAGAZINE
Share new single, ‘Deetjen’s’
The 4th single taken from ‘Modern Meta Physic‘ due October 5th on Slumberland Records
Peel Dream Magazine is the nom de plume of New York City-based musician Joe Stevens. A nod to BBC Radio 1 legend John Peel, arbiter of all things underground, Peel Dream Magazine is highly evocative of a certain strain of independent music. As Stevens explains, “I wanted to create an outlet for subcultural wanderers. Something you can subscribe to.“
Stevens harkens back to the early 1990s, when The Velvet Underground resurged as an inspiration to a new set of bands wielding synthesizers, off-set guitars, and a political bent. The Peel Dream experience is defined by a gentle, fuzzy psychedelia —it’s a hypnotic bit of mod-ish lo-fi pop, recalling the best of early Stereolab, Lilys, and other shaggy haired kids with vintage fuzz pedals, slim trousers, and good record collections. Stevens conjures a distinctly 90s vision of the 60s. Not the actual 60s, mind you, but perhaps a 60s daydreamed about from the creature comforts of a suburban living room. An abstraction. Shag carpet turned to bowl cut. Jean jackets — disaffected but wholesome youth. It’s not irony, exactly. It’s the love that comes from loving. And a bit of whimsy. It’s the 90s, again. Post-post.
“Deetjen’s” is the latest song to be released from the album, Joe Stevens states…
“Deetjen’s is a very old bed and breakfast in the redwood forest of Big Sur, California. All of the rooms are little cabins with metal stoves for heat, and there is a little restaurant in the main building. My fiancee and I went there when we first started dating – it’s a super romantic place. The LP plays with this aesthetic of bohemia existing in natural settings, and the bed and breakfast is quintessentially that. It is cosmically related to the Catskills in its own Jack Kerouac, logwood way.
I watched an old interview with McCarthy once where they talked about why they try not to write love songs – about why they are trite and unimportant – and it really resonated with me, because I think love songs are generally too “operatic” or something. Deetjen’s is an exception on the album in that it is a love song. But its steeped in an aesthetic that keeps it from being too . . . something or other. It’s like, “Hey love, let’s get away from the city for a while”.
Listen to “Deetjen’s” here:
Written and recorded over a four-week period in the fall of 2017, Peel Dream Magazine’s debut album Modern Meta Physic fixates on the New Age universe of the Catskills region of New York. Stevens deals in generic bohemian fare — Far East philosophy, Native American tradition, mid-century modern cool — as he appraises the world according to privileged urban expats who increasingly call the upstate paradise home.
Leading off the album, “Qi Velocity” is a metronomic take on French pop that yields to a lush chorus reminiscent of Belle and Sebastian. “Deetjen’s“, named after the much-loved bed & breakfast in Big Sur, would fit snugly on Unrest‘s best Teen Beat material. “Due to Advances in Modern Tourism” displays a soft take on Neu!, while the organ that enters could be a sly wink to Steve Reich’s “Four Organs”. There is an economy to these tracks — everything is distilled down to it’s essential elements, no gestures are wasted, no superfluous ornamentation taking up space.
While Stevens is more than happy to show his influences on his sleeve — mind you, they’re great influences — it’s clear Peel Dream Magazine isn’t just a “sound”. The guy can write songs. Where he goes next is anybody’s guess.
1. Qi Velocity
3. Art Today
4. Wood Paneling
6. Living Room
7. Levitating Between 2 Chords
10. Due to Advances in Modern Tourism
12. Upper Body Calaesthetics
13. Don’t Pick Up Slackers