Today, singer/songwriter Dustin Kensrue (frontman of rock band Thrice) has announced that he will be releasing his upcoming third solo album, Desert Dreaming, on April 5th via BMG.

The album is an epic alt/country experience, summoning the spirit of the American southwest, flush with tremolo guitar and shuffling percussion that echo off canyon walls. Pre-order Desert Dreaming here.

Accompanying the announcement is the release of Desert Dreaming’s first single, “Death Valley Honeymoon,” which details the wild but true story of how Kensrue’s grandparents met and recounts their honeymoon in the seemingly unlikely destination of Death Valley. The accompanying music video can be found below, which shows the heartwarming story of a newlywed couple celebrating their love at a Death Valley saloon where Kensrue is joined by Cat Clyde soulfully singing and strumming their guitars.

“There were multiple moments while writing that I felt like I was channeling my grandparents’ spirits in one way or another,” says Kensrue. “Having Cat Clyde sing my grandmother’s verse in the song really brought the whole thing home for me and she absolutely nailed it. Even the actor who plays my grandpa in the video showed up on set and gave me and my sister a start when we saw how eerily his face and smile made him resemble my mom’s dad.” 

Watch the music video below.

The self-produced album is Kensrue’s epic love letter to the southwest. He takes us on a personal travel journey through his own experiences in learning how to open his eyes to the world right in front of him. “The setting really is the main character of the record,” claims Kensrue as he approached the songs like a Western novelist, filling them with details of the desert–the sound of coyotes howling in the distance, the smell of sage and lilac in the dry wind, the lure of hidden treasures in the hills. 

Inspired partially by childhood trips spent with his grandparents in the Mojave Desert, these ten tunes mix biography, history, and fiction and were recorded by Kensrue with the help of collaborators like upright bassist Seth Richardson, pedal steel guitarist Abe Levy, and drummer James McAlister. Reflecting on themes including learning to experience the world as it is and not as you expect it to be, Kensrue weaves timeless tales of people too blinded by goldlust or misplaced obligation to see the riches all around them, and of souls quietly moved by the stark beauty of the desert landscape.

With Desert Dreaming Kensrue heralds a new sense of appreciation for the desert he had begun to overlook after living in the southwest for most of his life, reminding us sometimes all we need is to open our eyes, to fully appreciate what was in front of us all along. “There are things we can only learn in encounters in the hinterlands, both of the world and of our souls,” claims Kensrue. “It’s so easy to miss what’s right in front of us when we are set on finding something else and looking through mental and spiritual lenses that filter out so much.”



Dustin Kensrue desert dreaming


  1. Death Valley Honeymoon
  2. Scalers High
  3. Treasure in the West
  4. Lift Your Eyes
  5. Western Skies
  6. The Heart of Sedona
  7. Sage & Lilac Sage
  8. The Light of the Moon
  9. Leaving Tonight for Santa Fe
  10. Desert Dreaming 

Tour dates:

4/24/24 – Austin, TX – The Parish
4/25/24 – Dallas, TX – Sons of Hermann Hall
4/27/24 – Orlando, FL – The Social
4/28/24 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
4/29/24 – Nashville, TN – Eastside Bowl
5/1/24 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
5/2/24 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
5/3/24 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
5/4/24 – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts
5/6/24 – Lakewood, OH – Mahall’s
5/7/24 – Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
5/8/24 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
5/9/24 – St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway
5/11/24 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
5/12/24- Salt Lake City, UT – Commonwealth
5/14/24- Seattle, WA – Neumos
5/15/24 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
5/17/24 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
5/18/24 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy Theatre
5/19/24 – Santa Ana, CA – Observatory