With a vibrant swing to instantly grab our attention, the opening salvo of rhythm in “A Wonderful Kind of Strange” is quite captivating to anyone with a taste for alternative rock charisma, but as anyone who picks up the new record Dream Catching Songs from Thomas Truax will discover, it’s hardly the only prize this stunning album has to share. 

URL: https://www.thomastruax.com/

Dream Catching Songs starts with a patient ballad in “Dream Catching Song” that wastes no time in spotlighting the maturity in this singer/songwriter’s style of attack, and with every song that follows its introduction to the LP, we witness yet another layer of artistry unfolding before us. Truax didn’t have much to prove to indie disciples this spring, but nevertheless, he invites drum machine Mother Superior and drummer Budgie into the studio for this release and raises the bar for himself substantially with the resulting magic. 

If it’s chilling harmonies that you fancy most, “Origami Spy Arrives in Paper Boat” has got you covered. Similarly to the much more optimistic “Everything’s Going to be All Right,” “Origami Spy Arrives in Paper Boat” is built atop a foundation of velvety melodic elements and a meandering tempo that seems to fill up the master mix like a complete orchestra all by itself, and even when it’s accompanied by sensational undertow in the moving “A Little More Time” it doesn’t have a hard time stealing away most of our affections to keep all to itself.  

Ideally, a good alternative rock exhibition is powered by a strong vocal and as few bells and whistles as possible, as we find in “Birds & Bees,” my favorite song from Dream Catching Songs. This track isn’t quite the party-starter that the single “Big Bright Marble” is, but truth be told, there aren’t a lot of songs on this album that are. Most of the material here focuses more on the brooding components of Truax’s sound than it does the ferociousness of his execution (see “The Anomalous Now” for more), but regardless of what strain of aesthetical experimentation he’s toying with in this tracklist, there’s scarcely a moment where he doesn’t sound and present himself as a musician in full-control of his artistry, and more importantly, his future in this business. 

I would have put “Free Floaters” at the end of Dream Catching Songs instead of the powerful “The Fisherman’s Wishing Well Prayer,” but other than this one alteration, there isn’t a thing I would change about this fantastic follow-up to 2015’s Jetstream Sunset LP. To put it simply, Thomas Truax shreds through the stereotypes and unleashes one of the most emotionally unvarnished indie alternative efforts of the spring in this latest album, and if you’ve grown tired of the inconsistencies and artificialities that the indie hierarchy has accepted as hot content in the last ten years, I would recommend giving it a listen as soon as you can. Dream Catching Songs might not be a conventional record, but it’s certainly a tough LP to put down once you’ve picked it up for the first time. 

Garth Thomas