A Head Full of Wishes

A Head Full of Wishes is a site for Galaxie 500, Luna, Damon & Naomi, Dean & Britta and Dean Wareham. With news, articles and lists of releases and past and future shows.

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My record collection
#037: Dean Wareham vs Cheval Sombre

Dean Wareham and Cheval Sombre’s album had a long, long gestation. Dean first mentioned an album of cowboy songs in an interview with Rock on Philly back in March 2014, a full four and a half years before it finally saw the light of day.

Dean Wareham vs Cheval Sombre - 'root beer' coloured vinyl
Dean Wareham vs Cheval Sombre - 'root beer' coloured vinyl

The album is a collection of covers, half the album picked and lead by Dean and half by Chris Porpora (Cheval Sombre). They clearly had a quite distinct view of what constituted a cowboy song - Dean’s choices were much more clearly… cowboy… picking actual songs from actual cowboy films such as Howard Hawks’s excellent Rio Bravo and the odd Lerner and Loewe musical/film Paint Your Wagon as well as picking from the catalogue of Marty Robbins - surely the most cowboy of all cowboy singers? Chris picked less typical cowboy fare, but well suited, and it helped create an album with clear demarcation… and I guess contributed to the choice of the vs. in the album title?

Dean Wareham Vs. Cheval Sombre [is] a collection of western dreampop I made with my friend Chris (aka Cheval Sombre). Chris and I took turns on lead vocals, Jason Quever produced at Palmetto Recording here in L.A. I play the electric guitars, backed by Britta Phillips, Anthony LaMarca, Jason Quever and Will Halsey. Some of these songs (e.g. “Wandering Star”) are from old Hollywood movies, others are by songwriters like Bob Dylan and Stephen Merritt.

The album was recorded in early 2016 and was eventually released in October 2018. I bought my copy as part of a deluxe bundle with a T-shirt and the Along The Santa Fe Trail lathe cut single

  • Catalogue Number: AHFOW 12/027
  • Artist: Dean Wareham / Cheval Sombre
  • Title: Dean Wareham vs. Cheval Sombre
  • Notes:
  • Packaging: nice, shiny LP sleeve
  • Format: LP
  • Bought as part of a deluxe package from Dean Wareham for $75