Stellan Wahlström Drift Band - 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. We’re guided through the backstreets of his home town Stockholm, then separately to Tangiers, New York and Venice (as featured on the cover). With airport chaos and the blinking cost of living crisis looming over us, save yourself the hassle of going anywhere and buy this instead.” – Shindig (UK) (4/5) 

“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”. But the more rousing, guitar-centric “Into the light” and “Waiting” are best, befitting boys that once played CBGB, and whose leader drummed for ’80s garage faves Wylde Mammoths. Good songwriting remains anyone’s friend”. – The Big Takeover (US)

“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.” – Zero Magazine (Sweden) (8/10)

“Most of the songs on this album could be released as singles.” – Rootstime (Belgium)

This is Stellan Wahlström Drift Band on top of their game, all together in the studio and  recorded straight on to tape, with the added spice of English horn, Fender Rhodes electric piano and Mellotron. Ranging from glam rock piano ballads, via psychedelic folk rock, to the guitar overload of the opening track and first single Into the light.

The poetic, cinematic lyrics echo a pre-pandemic era when more time was spent staying in and being inspired by mythical cities around the globe. We’re taken to Tangier, Venice, the backstreets of Wahlström’s hometown Stockholm, as well as a return to New York. These places are still just the setting for themes like loss, anticipation and waiting.

Stellan Wahlström was formerly in the garage rock band The Wylde Mammoths, releasing records on the legendary US label Crypt Records and touring Europe and the US. His first album Time leaves you behind was recorded during his time in New York, and the latest album Hotel Continental was followed by gigs there with Billy Ficca (Television) and Jason Victor (Dream Syndicate) joining the band.

As real as in a dream was recorded by Alexander Pierre (Jenny Wilson, Nicole Sabouné) at Örnsbergs Musikstudio in Stockholm, and mixed by Patrick Derivaz (Television, Luna, John Cale) in New York.

The Drift Band is Stellan Wahlström (vocals & guitars), Johan Werner (piano & keyboards), Mats Grönmark (lead guitar & lap steel), Johan Adelman (bass) and Johan Svahn (drums).


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