Thomas Truax’s “Dream Catching Songs” 

Careening out of the darkness with an especially experimental groove behind every melody, the title track in Thomas Truax’s Dream Catching Songs welcomes listeners into this 2023 classic unafraid of the risk that comes with being extraordinary, and as we’ll soon learn, this feature helps to produce every powerful moment in this LP. While “Everything’s Going to be All Right” could have led the tracklist just as easily as the implied title cut does, I think its upbeat swing makes for a nice segue from the ascending opener into the more even-paced “Birds & Bees.” There’s no putting this record down once you get lost in its gaze, and with that in mind, I recommend putting aside everything else in your day when sitting down to experience Truax’s musical might for yourself.


If the moderate rock punch of a hypnotic “The Anomalous Now” doesn’t have you completely enamored by the talents this singer/songwriter has, “Free Floaters” is almost certain to. Accents of psychedelia blur with a subtle folk/rock hook in this track, the most powerful on the album in my opinion, but I don’t think that it feels so aesthetically experimental that it makes the other songs in Dream Catching Songs sound less than incredible. Instead, I see the abstract nature of this star single as a nice counterbalance to the moments of implied conventionality, such as the aforementioned “Birds & Bees,” creating a listening experience for the audience that is certain to get a reaction out of us – no matter what style of music we favor the most.

“A Wonderful Kind of Strange” continues the surreal pulsations of its tracklist predecessor before turning the spotlight over to a wholly haunting “Origami Spy Arrives in Paper Boat” when we’re least expecting something so simple and cold. The sudden shift isn’t discomforting though; it’s a thrill-inducer that makes the gush of the grooving we eventually hear in the heart of the drum-heavy “A Little More Time” all the more irresistible to the ears. Truax has a way of making even the most contradictory of aesthetical concepts sound fluid and familial in this album, and I’m surprised that it wasn’t noted for as much back in 2023. Dream Catching Songs has a format that has become increasingly common in the alternative rock genre over the past ten years, but with none of the ironic poeticisms overstated (partly thanks to the emphasis on drummer Budgie and the mechanical Mother Superior from beginning to end here).


“Big Bright Marble” gets a taste of the Truax treatment ahead of a concluding track in “The Fisherman’s Wishing Well Prayer” that takes us back to the firm outsider footing that started off Dream Catching Songs nine songs ago. From one end to the other, Truax sounds like a genius who came well ahead of his time in this industry, and though Dream Catching Songs will remain a cult favorite in 2023, I think later history will give it the proper respect it’s always been due. In summary, with a little help from Budgie and a smart drum machine, this player has made one amazing LP to kick off the spring.

Chadwick Easton


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