Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Peel Dream Magazine Announces Fall Tour

Peel Dream Magazine Announces Fall Tour

Their new album will be released on October 7.

With his third album as Peel Dream Magazine, Joseph Stevens beckons you toward a fabulist, zig-zag world entirely of his own design. On Pad (out Oct. 7 on Slumberland / Tough Love), he eschews the fuzzy glories of his indie pop past - vibraphone trembles while chamber strings take center stage.

The curtains lift to reveal banjo. Chimes. Farfisa. And as he lets out a moan atop the album's title track, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary performance. A conceptual work about losing oneself when all they have is themself, Pad gestures towards an exciting new future for Stevens' pop moniker by reimagining its own very existence.

The follow-up to 2020's breakthrough album Agitprop Alterna, Pad presents a major sonic evolution for the 34 year old songwriter, who moved to Los Angeles amid the cataclysm that same year. Seventies era drum machines and synthesizers remain here, but he's traded his buzzing offset guitar for a nylon-string, opting for a gentle baroque pop sound steeped in Bossa, folk, and its own eerie mysticism.

Alongside mid century touchstones like Burt Bacharach, Stevens draws on the cultishly-beloved tinkerings of late-1960s Beach Boys, offering a surreal melange of vintage organs and found percussion, as well as Harry Nilsson's 1970 song tapestry The Point!.

And similar to The Point!, Pad is a conceptual work reflecting on isolation and identity. The album tells a bedtime story in which Stevens' bandmates kick him out of Peel Dream Magazine - banished and now without purpose, he sets out on a journey to rejoin the band. Misadventures ensue, such as when he joins a cult on "Self Actualization Center," featuring friend and frequent collaborator Winter.

But this is also music that's purely pleasurable in its own context, as our protagonist explores the boundaries of easy-listening with discordant textures, and bleeps and bloops that tickle. Songs like "Pictionary" chime delicately with sinister intent, evoking a palette that is outright Mod. Pad also recalls the space age bachelor stylings of Stereolab and The High Llamas, with an occult twist that borrows from Tropicalia legends Os Mutantes.

There's an unmoored frivolity to Pad, standing in stark contrast to the severe, droning motorik of Steven's previous albums. Overwhelmed by the political upheaval of the day, he reimagines what Van Dyke Parks once referred to as musical counter-counterculturalism, blurring the line between blithe escapism and pointed subversion.

"I felt like there was no other way for me to authentically react to what was happening than to make this record". The album also draws on library music from the same era to similar effect, conjuring the likes of Basil Kirchin and Pierro Piccioni, as well as Stevens' newfound arranging skills, honed composing advertisement scores as a day job.

While Pad sounds beautiful, there's a certain darkness to it as well. Stevens is addressing our general ambivalence toward the future of everything we know, informed partly by his time in New York at the onset of the pandemic. On "Hiding Out", he laments: Wander past the Vernon Mall, and up to Queensboro Bridge.

Made to feel I'm two feet small, but that's no way to live. Ultimately, Stevens is embracing a first-thought-best-thought approach, leaning into the fantastical elements of his own life story. Pad is as archetypal as it is strange, blurring the very lines that it asks to be defined by. Art imitates life, but life imitates art too - and the results can sometimes be unpredictable.

Tour Dates

10/19 - San Francisco at The Chapel %
10/22 - Los Angeles at Zebulon* (Album Release Show)
10/26 - Denver at Skylark
10/27 - Kansas City at Toilet Bowl
10/28 - Chicago at Hideout*
10/29 - Pittsburgh at The Government Center
10/30 - Toronto at The Drake Underground*
10/31 - Montreal at Casa Del Popolo*
11/1 - Boston at Lilypad*
11/3 - Washington DC at Comet Ping Pong*
11/4 - New York at Baby's All Right*
11/5 - Philadelphia at Ukie Club*
11/7 - Athens at 40 Watt
11/8 - Atlanta at 529
11/9 - New Orleans at Gasa Gasa
11/10 - Austin at Hotel Vegas
11/12 - Phoenix at Linger Longer Lounge

% = w/ Beach Fossils
* = w/ Winter

Regional Awards


From This Author - Michael Major


LIVE WITH KELLY & RYAN Tops the Season Premiere Week of DR. PHIL in Homes and ViewersLIVE WITH KELLY & RYAN Tops the Season Premiere Week of DR. PHIL in Homes and Viewers
September 27, 2022

During the week of Sept. 12, 2022, “Live with Kelly and Ryan” outdelivered the season premiere week of “Dr. Phil” by 8% in Households (1.4 rating vs. 1.3 rating) and by 3% in Total Viewers (1.937 million vs. 1.887 million).

DEVORA Shares New Single 'God Is Dead'DEVORA Shares New Single 'God Is Dead'
September 27, 2022

Acclaimed “outlaw pop” artist DEVORA has released new single “God Is Dead,” via Tiger Tone Records. Serving as a first taste to her upcoming EP by the same name, “God Is Dead” is a Neo-western expedition straight into the deepest bowls of existential questioning, encapsulated in a Tarantino-esque presentation. 

Wilderado's 'Surefire' Single Enters Top 30 at Alt RadioWilderado's 'Surefire' Single Enters Top 30 at Alt Radio
September 27, 2022

The appearance was the Tulsa, Oklahoma band’s first AM TV and along with “Surefire,” they performed “Take Some Time,” and “Outside My Head.” All three songs are from the band’s self-titled debut LP that just re-entered the iTunes Alternative Albums chart #24 and was released in October 2021 on Bright Antenna Records.

PBS Announces New Premiere Date for NEXT AT THE KENNEDY CENTERPBS Announces New Premiere Date for NEXT AT THE KENNEDY CENTER
September 27, 2022

PBS set a new date for the upcoming premiere of NEXT AT THE KENNEDY CENTER, the public broadcaster’s recently announced collaboration with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to spotlight critical contributions to the arts that continue to inspire contemporary artists.

TAMRON HALL Scores a 13-Week High in Total ViewersTAMRON HALL Scores a 13-Week High in Total Viewers
September 27, 2022

During the week of Sept. 12, 2022, “Tamron Hall” jumped over the prior week by 16% in Total Viewers (964,000 vs. 834,000) to a 13-week high – since the week of 6/6/22. “Tamron Hall” also grew week to week in Households (+17% - 0.7 rating vs. 0.6 rating) and Women 25-54 (+50% - 0.3 rating vs. 0.2 rating).