There are two phases of The Dream Syndicate. There was the band with revolving lineups that existed from 1982 to 1988 and made four albums including “The Days of Wine and Roses” and “Medicine Show,” both of which regularly show up on Best-Of lists and have influenced bands and delighted fans in the years since.
And then there’s the band that reunited in 2012 and is closing in on its seventh year, longer than the run of Phase One, with nary a lineup change. This 21st Century version of the Dream Syndicate released “How Did I Find Myself Here” in 2017 to universal acclaim, no small feat for a band reuniting after almost three decades.
“I felt like we threaded the needle pretty nicely on the last album,” says founder and singer/guitarist/songwriter Steve Wynn, “referencing who we were and what we had done the first time around but also taking it all someplace new and fresh. It’s a tough balance. Ignore your past and you’re just using the band’s name for convenience, mire yourself too much in the past and you’re a parody—you are your own Rutles. We did neither. We were proud of the record and it was really nice to see that our fans and newcomers alike felt the same way. We were able to go out and play shows of mostly new songs and it really made us feel good to see that the audience knew the record and it was what they had come out to hear us play.”
Therefore, with that reintroduction and a full year of touring behind them, the Dream Syndicate had the freedom to take it all somewhere new, to dig a little deeper, get outside of themselves a little bit. Their new album ‘These Times’ (May 3, ANTI-) feels like a late-night radio show that you might have heard as a kid, drifting off into dreams and wondering the next morning if any of it was real.
Emma Tricca has travelled far in seeking the heart of her own music. Inspired by Odetta and encouraged by John Renbourn has been gigging around folk clubs honing her craft as songwriter and fingerstyle guitarist.
Extended stays in New York and Texas followed, before she returned to London to start work on a first melancholic masterpiece, 2009's crystalline Minor White. Five years on she would release Relic, even more poised and precise than its predecessor, adding gentle percussion and plaintive orchestration to the established pattern of hushed guitar and heartfelt vocals.
Then hungry for new directions, when her friend Jane Weaver urged her to 'explore the weirdness' in her music she called up Jason Victor, producer and Dream Syndicate guitarist. Hauling in Sonic Youthdrummer Steve Shelley and New York bass hero Pete Galub they explored the rougher sound in her head. The resultant St Peter (2018) combined crunchy country rock, homespun psychedelia, Morricone soundtracks, New York underground grit and English folk grandeur to weave a wholly unique and surprising spell.
It garnered an invitation to tour with Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets, opening shows in the storied concert halls of Europe; at Paris’s L’Olympia she would sing in the footsteps of Bob Dylan. Now working again with Victor she resumes the journey, continuing to challenge both herself and her listeners.