When The Dream Syndicate emerged in the early 1980s, frontman Steve Wynn declared, “We’re playing music we want to hear because nobody else is doing it.” He added, “I’ll compromise on what I eat or where I sleep, but I won’t compromise on what music I play.” Both were true, and although their template of Velvet Underground meets Crazy Horse may seem commonplace today – the Syndicate spawned many imitators – their raw twin guitar, bass and drums approach was not common during their initial run during the MTV era. Thirty years later, The Dream Syndicate have announced their third album for ANTI-, The Universe Inside. This album, which will be released April 10, could have been called The Art of The Improvisers – The Dream Syndicate were in a Richmond studio after midnight working out ideas when Stephen McCarthy (The Long Ryders) dropped by and became a catalyst for uncharted exploration. In one session, they recorded 80 continuous minutes of soundscapes. Wynn took that raw tape back to his NYC home and played it and thought, “My god, there’s an album here, damn it!” Like producers Teo Macero and Conny Plank did back in the day, he sped back to Virginia and edited and sculpted those 80 minutes into an album. Wynn said, “All we added was air,” which is to say aside from vocals, horns and a touch of percussion – every instrument is live as it happened.
The band previously released the advance single “The Regulator,” which is included in this servicing along with new single “The Longing.” Wynn explains, “A friend of mine once said, ‘You ought to write a song about longing.’ This was a few years back but it stuck with me and when I was listening to minutes 20 through 28 of the improvisation that became The Universe Inside I knew that the suggestion had finally found its proper home. This section of music – that followed in real time the part that became ‘The Regulator’ – felt so mournful and lost and adrift and confused, much like longing itself. You think you know where it’s at? The longing is stronger than that.”
“A pulsing motorik groove” -Stereogum
“Droning, looping and trippy” -Brooklyn Vegan
“It’s tough to be a weirdo these days. You’re either trying too hard or you’re just failing miserably to stand out in a sea of mall soundtrack slurry. But The Dream Syndicate, weirdos since inception in the best way possible, don’t even take the easy way out and simply comment on how, wow, like, times are tough. We all know times are hard—and sometimes we just need music that itself isn’t afraid to stretch the boundaries of conventional pop to help us get through it.” –Paste
This servicing includes both full-length versions and truncated radio edits of each single.
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