When The Dream Syndicate emerged in the early 80s, front man 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 (and let’s not forget, the Syndicate spawned many imitators), their raw twin guitar, bass and drums approach was not common during an era when slick, polished MTV bands ruled.
Thirty years later The Dream Syndicate have announced their third album for ANTI-, The Universe Inside, which will be released on 10th April. They have now shared the video for new single ‘The Longing’, a cryptic clip that explores yearning, memories and the passage of time.
This album 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 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 the shit out of 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 hauled ass 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. Wynn has also created a ten-song inspiration playlist of artists that have influenced The Universe Inside. From The Byrds to Miles Davis to Can, listen to his Inspiration Mixtape HERE.
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