Jeremy Ivey is more than the sideman, more than a guitarist with his wife Margo Price’s band. A prolific songwriter in his own right, he is finally sharing his art with The Dream and the Dreamer, his first official solo record. And though it’s his solo debut, his deep well of experience as a touring musician has helped him zero in on an aesthetic all his own. Ivey’s voice is soft and subdued, allowing for harmonies that glide along with ease, even as he’s working through his anxieties about the state of the world, the environment, getting older.
Even as Ivey taps into influences and tastes that range from trippy psych rock to melodic ’60s pop, from clean, minimalist folk to faint echoes of country, The Dream and the Dreamer is a tight, cohesive bunch of songs. We get the sense he’d been hearing this record in his head long before he executed it in a studio (under the thoughtful producing eye of Price). Carefully placed keys add a heavenly touch to album standout “Falling Man,” a song about feeling out of place as you come of age, trying to put down roots amidst a life of uncertainty. Twangy acoustic guitar curls up with sweet backing vocals from Price on “Greyhound,” a weary road song. Harmonica and more of those backing vocals sneak up on the autobiographical “Story of a Fish,” another one of the album’s real gems.
Ivey’s ear for melody walks hand in hand with his layered vocal harmonies. If you listen closely to songs like “Worry Doll” and “Diamonds Back to Coal” you may hear hints of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and a general appreciation for late ’60s, early ’70s Americana and Southern rock. The Dream and the Dreamer is, in perhaps too obvious a word, dreamy.