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Luke Sweeney & Wet Dreams Dry Magic

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"A bicycle crash left a teenage Sweeney with his jaw wired shut for six weeks, and in recovering, his sustenance was on an acoustic guitar. What was he chasing? Perhaps something in a progression that led to the acquisition of a Yamaha MT-50 4-track recorder, seclusion in empty piano rooms on the campus of UC Berkeley, hosting cassette release parties in his co-op, and the subsequent rabid touring and recording in some of San Francisco’s most celebrated bands (Vows, Montra), all the meanwhile logging enough California-psych gold on tape to get a good stretch of Highway 101 named after him.

In 2006 he conjured up a mix of mostly instrumental psychedelic pop musings entitled ‘Wet Dreams Dry Magic’, and in the spring of 2012 assembled a cast of accomplished players around that moniker – including Brett Eastman (ex-Girls) and Jerome Steegmans (ex-Sugar & Gold). As a band, Wet Dreams Dry Magic delivers the spectrum of Sweeney's songs – which span from heart-on-sleeve folk to stream-of-subconscious confessionals to euphoric barn-burners drenched in soulful sweetness – into a magnet of ears who hear something familiar yet mysteriously new, as if plucked from an Earth-like planet just barely detectable on our Doppler.

With the release of ‘Ether Ore’, Sweeney stripped down the approach in a solo debut that has local press lauding his ‘distinctly handcrafted feel. Songs such as "Stuck to the Vine" and "Stone E. A. Way" balance delicate finger picking in odd tunings and the hushed sadness of unrequited love with melodies that feel like opiates for the soul’ - (San Francisco Chronicle). Recorded over a few days in April 2012 at the house of the heralded Faultline Studios & Golden Gate Recording wizard Lucas Boilon, ‘Sweeney creates magic with lyrics that are deeply personal and music that's... powerful’ - (East Bay Express).

Yet the surface has only been scratched in revealing Sweeney’s full portrait. There’s much road traveled and tape unraveled, but many a contribution still ahead. As Wet Dreams Dry Magic plots a special 7” novella release of otherworldly pop creations, two more albums are being finished in the early part of 2013 – an eclectic collection of electric psych-soul gems cut in October 2011 at Media Blitz in Brooklyn with producer Robin MacMillan (Persephone’s Bees, Shalants), and a concept album currently being tracked in the hills of Mill Valley, California with Rob Easson (Rogue Wave). Both are poised to bring Sweeney to a new level of detection on the national radar as we chase his sonic trail to wherever it leads."

- Roy Raines [+]
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Created: March 7, 2016, 11:57 p.m.
Last Modified: June 14, 2016, 12:38 p.m.