Stellan Wahlström Drift Band’s new and fifth album “As real as in a dream” has now been released.
It’s been a few years since Hotel Continental came, an album followed by playing in New York with Billy Ficca (Television) and Jason Victor (Dream Syndicate) joining the band. The first taste of the coming album was the single Into the light, a raw uptempo rock song with lots and lots of guitars, followed by the pulsating Through the alleys, across the squares as the second single. The recordings were made with the full band together in the studio, straight on to tape using plenty of vintage equipment found at Örnsbergs Musikstudio in Stockholm.
Alexander Pierre (Jenny Wilson, Nicole Sabouné) did the recordings and the band in the studio consisted of Johan Werner (piano, Rhodes, organ and mellotron), Mats Grönmark (lead guitar and lap steel), Johan Adelman & Christian Sandell (bass), Johan Svahn (drums) and Stellan Wahlström (vocals and guitars).
Stellan Wahlström was previously in the garage rock band The Wylde Mammoths, touring Europe and the US and releasing records on the legendary Crypt Records label. He was also in The High Speed V, another wild rock combo coming out of that same scene. He has now left the garage and with his Drift Band is doing their own brand of modern big city folk-rock, or as US magazine The Big Takeover put it: ”A more sophisticated take on a cross between post-Velvets and alt-Country with a very clean almost jazz-like ambience”.
Stellan recorded the first album Time leaves you behind with Patrick Derivaz (who had previously worked with Television, Luna and John Cale among others) in New York. The song ”Watching TV” was featured in the independent film ”Rhimes and Reason”, and Stellan also did studio work for other artists, including harmonica playing on rock’n’roll band Sour Jazz’s first album.
In the 2000’s he reformed the band, released the So this is what the end looks like EP, and started playing live again in Stockholm (as well as acoustic tours in India in 2003 and 2005). The second album The Excitable Gift was recorded by Sten Hårdbåge at Das Boot Studio in Stockholm and mixed by Linus Larsson (Anna Ternheim, Eldkvarn and others), and featured the slow piano song ”Ocean Ave” which plenty of radio stations quite liked. If the first album had a distinct taste of classic New York rock, the second album hinted more towards 70’s West Coast singer/songwriter-rock. That one was followed by Across the room (with the single “Charlotte says”), which gained quite a lot of airplay on US college radio. In 2015 Hotel Continental was released, again recorded the analogue way on to 2-inch tape at Cobra Studio by Christian Gabel (1900, bob hund). Here the band speeded up the tempo and cranked up the electric guitars.
The vinyl album can be ordered directly from our distributor Hot Stuff or if you’re in Stockholm you can find
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PRESS “As real as in a dream”:
“Wahlström has found a pace and space that remains pleasingly consistent. Skirting close to artsy alt-rock – think Television or even Lou Reed – he has an amazing talent for telling clear narrative stories set to lovely lilting melodies. There’s a distinctly live feel to this album which was recorded directly onto analogue tape with the minimum of overdubs or flashy effects from The Drift Band.”
“He sings with similar unhurried patience, surveying scenes and seeing wider, discontented pictures, like “Nothing more will come out of this” with its “bleaker morning coming”.
“A perfect soundtrack for the autumn of 2022. The will to tell and the ability to reach the listener is something Stellan Wahlström seems to have in his blood and it sounds like he performs his art without any noticeable effort. The beautifully melancholic and melodic music heightens and reinforces what he wants to say in the same natural way, and after a couple of songs you’re completely drawn into the dreamlike journey that “As real as in a dream” offers. Tindersticks comes to mind. “As real as in a dream” is yet again a very successfully executed album by Stellan Wahlström Drift Band.”
“Most of the songs on this album could sooner or later be released as singles.”
PRESS “Hotel Continental”:
“The warmth of Stockholm’s Cobra Studio’s two-inch analogue tape setup shines through on this thoughtful collection. Poetic and crammed with narrative intent, clever lyrics evoke a spirit of international travel long gone. “Waxholm Hotel” and “Already done” are superb examples of this artful storytelling at work. Patrick Derivaz, whose credits include John Cale and Television, renews a longstanding acquaintance with Wahlström, delivering a sensitive mix that compliments some excellent guitar work from Dream Syndicate’s Jason Victor.
“Stellan Wahlström Drift Band show attention to expertise and care. He fits this friendlier, warmer, settled format like reliable sneakers, even if the more Luna/Dream Syndicate-like electricity is as comfortable. Nicely delivered.”
“The guitar rock here could originate from the classic new wave-period on Manhattan when Television, Blondie and Talking Heads were the hippest bands in town. Sounds very un-Swedish in a good way.”
“Dynamic piano and playful guitars. It was indeed a long wait for the successor to the album Across the room, but the long wait is more than made up by the new album Hotel Continental.”
PRESS “Across the room”:
“I have to admit I’m a sucker for heartfelt tunes like these as long as the
“This album definitely deserves recognition. Alt-country and Velvet Underground in a perfect symbiosis.
“They elegantly hang around Lou Reed as confidently as when they occasionally sneak into some Americana.
“Across the room” is an excellent album, the first single “Charlotte says” is a true gem. There are a couple of piano songs on this brilliant album where “Burn baby burn”, “What are you made of?” and the very passionate and tender highlight “Don’t go” stand out.”
“8 / 10”
PRESS “The excitable gift”:
“That’s what I like – his ability to make the listener feel that the lyrics are for real, that what
“The music is beautifully performed and even though there are many artists and albums that sound similar to this, “The Excitable Gift” has a perfection that is impressing – the ringing electric guitars, the sparse piano, the desolate violin.”
PRESS “Time leaves you behind”:
“A very strong band performing some amazing music. Wahlstrom is a songwriter of the Townes Van Zandt/Bob Dylan school – not that his work sounds anything like either of those artists, but he has the same confidence in his storytelling.”
“True feelings and authenticity… Might come to mean a lot to many people.”
“Stellan is succeeding well with the down to earth melancholy.”
“Definitely honest.” (7,5/10)
“Some of the intensity from which great albums are made.”
As real as in a dream
Singles & EP’s