Album Review: Dean Wareham vs. Cheval Sombre | Music | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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Album Review: Dean Wareham vs. Cheval Sombre



Dean Wareham vs. Cheval Sombre

Dean Wareham vs. Cheval Sombre

(Double Feature Records)

"Western dream pop" is an apt description for this album of covers by Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna) and Croton-on-Hudson's Cheval Sombre. The duo alternates vocal and guitar duties while contributing to one another's takes throughout. The songwriters are heavyweights: Blaze Foley, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, and Stephin Merritt among them. Not to mention the iconic performers who have previously taken stabs at these tunes, including Lee Marvin, Merle Haggard, Elvis Presley, and the legends who have covered the traditional "Wayfaring Stranger." Even in such company, these new interpretations are invitingly distinct and expansive. The vocal diversity holds the attention while keeping the vibe intimate. The cowboy guitars twang and waver with stinging psychedelic vibrato and lush vintage tones. Aided by sometimes lo-fi but complementary instrumentation by Jason Quever, Britta Phillips, and others, the album is an alluring and atmospheric take on some obscure classics.

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