New Audio: The Dream Syndicate Share the Dreamy and Atmospheric “Where I’ll Stand”

Over the past two or three years of this site’s almost 12 — 12! — year history, I’ve managed to spill a copious amount of virtual ink covering the acclaimed and legendary Los Angeles-based psych rock act and JOVM mainstays The Dream Syndicate.

Tracing its origins back to the early 80s, The Dream Syndicate currently features founding members Steve Wynn (guitars, vocals), a critically applauded singer/songwriter and solo artist in his own right, and Dennis Duck (drums), along with Mark Walton (bass), Jason Victor (lead guitar) and newest member Green On Red’s Chris Cacavas (keys) have split up and reunited a couple of times throughout their history, including their most recent reunion in 2017, which began a run of critically applauded, forward-thinking, mind-bending releases.

Their most recent album, 2020’s The Universe Inside marked the first time in their long and storied history in which every song was conceived and written as a collective whole. Sonically, the album’s material was unlike anything they’ve done together or even individually. The material draws from each individual member’s eclectic interests and passions — in particular:

  • Dennis Duck’s love and knowledge of European avant garde music
  • Jason Victor’s love of 70s prog rock
  • Mark Walton’s experience in Southern-fried music collectives
  • Chris Cacavas’ interest in sound manipulation
  • Wynn’s love of 70s jazz fusion.

The Universe Inside‘s six songs came from one completely improvised recording session in which the band came up with 80 continuous minutes of soundscapes. “All we added was air,” Wynn explains in press notes. Aside from vocals, horns and a touch of percussion here and there, every instrument is recorded live as it happened.

The Dream Syndicate’s fourth post-reunion effort and eighth overall, Ultraviolet Battle Hymns and True Confessions is slated for a June 10, 2022 release through Fire Records. Continuing to push their sound and approach in new and varied directions, Ultraviolet Battle Hymns and True Confessions reportedly sees the band taking on British glam, German prog rock, krautrock and Brian Eno-like ambient music interwoven into their psychedelic, melodic hues. The album also features guest spots from longtime collaborator and friend, The Long Ryders‘ Stephen McCarthy and Marcus Tenney, who contributes sax and trumpet to the album’s songs.

Clocking in at a little over five minutes, the album’s first single “Where I’ll Stand” is begins with a twinkling synth-led prog rock into before morphing along a circular chord progression featuring subtly twangy, shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars and a slow-burning motorik-like groove. Interestingly enough, the end result is a song that sounds like an atmospheric and contemporary take on their sound that simultaneously hints at CAN and Berlin Trilogy-era Bowie.

“It feels like an attempt–via the lyrics and the circular chord progression–to impose some kind of order and logic on a world that was severely lacking in both respects at the time,” The Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn says.