Dean Wareham and Cheval Sombre team up on this cover of Blaze Foley’s “If I Could Only Fly” to create a track that has been self-described as “western dream pop.”
And western dream pop it is.
With a vocal cadence like Johnny Cash and guitar reminiscent of Bob Dylan, Wareham and Sombre put modern twist on classic western songs from the ’60s and ’70s.
Wareham is a long-serving indie artist who founded the bands Galaxie 500 and Luna. Sombre is a solo artist that rose to prominence in the early 2000s. The pair have teamed up to record this record of true Western songs, backed by Britta Phillips of Luna, the War on Drugs’ Anthony LaMarca and Will Halsey, known for his work with Sugarcandy Mountain.
The heavy percussion and folky guitar riffs in combination with Sombre’s vocals makes it seem as if he’s telling you a secret, while you lay gazing up at the night sky. His soft-spoken timbre almost feels as if it’s being overpowered by the backing music which, in turn, fits hand-in-hand with the dream-like essence of the track.
Wareham and Sombre’s use of a track that is heavy on percussion — almost as if the guitar is the backing instrument rather than the normal drum beats — adds to that feeling of stargazing and letting your mind wander and body relax. The addition of a tambourine emphasizes the “western” aspect of the western dream pop genre, as it throws the listener back to a time when people sat around campfires playing their instruments and joining in a sing-along.
While Foley’s original is carried by a single acoustic guitar, Wareham and Sombre bring the “dream pop” idea into the mix with their use of what seems to be an electric guitar, an acoustic guitar and an occasional cymbal.
This easy listening track is a mesmerizing melding of 60s/70s western and contemporary pop to create what can only be described as a form of modern-day cosmic crooning.
“If I Could Only Fly” can be found on Dean Wareham vs. Cheval Sombre, out now.
Editor’s note: This review has been updated to include accurate information on the track’s vocals.
If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.
California Will Require All of Its Public Universities to Offer the Abortion Pill On Campus
The Golden State expands women's healthcare choices on campus.
California Becomes the 1st State to Make HIV Prevention Drugs Available Over-The-Counter
The Golden State progresses towards reducing HIV/AIDS.
California Will Allow Its Own Cities and Counties To Open Their Own Public Banks
The Golden State alongside North Dakota leads the way in public banking.
Abortion Fully Decriminalized Across The Nation of Australia
The country's most populous state is giving women choices in healthcare.
Meet The Young People Against Socialism in America
A new conservative youth group takes on the rise of American socialism.
Meet the Progressive Rugby Player and Veteran Taking on the Democratic Establishment in New York
This Queens candidate wants to put his community first.
This Progressive Truck Driver is Challenging a Democratic Incumbent in Washington State
This young working class truck driver is taking on the Democratic Party establishment in Olympia, Washington.
The State of Maine Will Use Ranked-Choice Voting for Future Presidential Elections
The Pine Tree State progresses towards more electoral reform.