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DEAN WAREHAM

In an unprecedented burst of creativity, Dean Wareham follows his well-received solo mini-album ‘Emancipated Hearts’ just over four months later with his solo debut proper. Consisting of eight original songs and a cover of Michael Holland’s ‘Heartless People’, the self-titled album is a very different record to its predecessor, much less understated and more self-assured. No doubt partly due to its producer, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, who also plays on some of the tracks here (and turns in a remix of ‘Happy & Free’ as the iTunes bonus track). Dean has admitted that Jim James pushed him in more of a “rock” direction, something which mini-album producer Jason Quever actively shied away from. This has resulted in surprisingly direct likes of ‘Holding Pattern’ (an ode to bicoastal commuting, which inexplicably turns into a list of AOR bands “Kansas, Boston, Toto, Journey, Foreigner and Styx”) and ‘I Can Only Give My All’, which sit comfortably alongside the countryfied rock of ‘Happy & Free’ and the retro-pop of ‘The Dancer Disappears’.

Between 1987 and 1991 Dean Wareham was singer/guitarist/ songwriter with Galaxie 500, who recorded three albums for Rough Trade (now available on Domino). His next band, New York-based quartet Luna, recorded seven studio albums for Elektra and Beggars Banquet between 1992 and 2004. He has since released three albums with his wife Britta Phillips as Dean & Britta. Their most recent release was a soundtrack to accompany their multi-media show ‘13 Most Beautiful: Songs For Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests’. Dean has recently acted in the film ‘Frances Ha’, directed by Noah Baumbach, and written a memoir, ‘Black Postcards’, for Penguin Books.

The first ever solo album from Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna, Dean & Britta). Produced by Jason Quever (Papercuts). Includes the single ‘Love Is Colder Than Death’, as premiered on Pitchfork. ‘Emancipated Hearts’ is a downbeat collection that suggests Galaxie 500 playing bucolic folk-rock. As if to underline this comparison, there’s a cover of The Incredible String Band’s ‘Air’. “I know they can be a bit silly, but they can be hilarious too,” says Dean. “Our version was recorded in Jason’s living room, just him and me.” Before this almost light-hearted conclusion, however, the album explores much darker territory, something that is evident from just the titles of the songs. It’s no so much political as politicised, as Dean explains: “Each of these songs started with a line or phrase I borrowed from a poem or film or newspaper headline. The idea is you steal a line and then build your own song around it…”

Between 1987 and 1991 Dean Wareham was singer/guitarist/ songwriter with Galaxie 500, who recorded three albums for Rough Trade (now available on Domino). His next band, New York-based quartet Luna, recorded seven studio albums for Elektra and Beggars Banquet between 1992 and 2004. He has since released three albums with his wife Britta Phillips as Dean & Britta. Their most recent release was a soundtrack to accompany their multi-media show ‘13 Most Beautiful: Songs For Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests.


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