Sleep For Sleepers

The Clearing

Written by: TL on 31/01/2009 18:06:48

Okay so here's a record I've been listening to a great many times, and while I'm not sure the last handfuls of listens have brought me any closer to a full understanding of it, I've come to the point where I just need to get its review out of the way. The band we're dealing with is Sleep For Sleepers, a calming trio of American dudes who bring to us their debut full length album, titled simply "The Clearing".

Now the reason for which I've been giving "The Clearing" a great deal of rotation is that it is a rather elusive concoction of music. The opener "Bravery" for instance, is about the worst song you could pick to introduce this band, as it rocks more insistently and straightforwardly than any of the other songs, and pretty much belies what kind of mood-setting SFS have on their agenda. You see most of the time these guys are as gentle as lamb, as they shift their sound back and forth between the naive sincerity of bands like Gracer and Lydia, and the soft and cheeky charm of Mae and Hellogoodbye., which is displayed much clearer in track 2, "Thieves And Bones". Light and subtle guitar melodies are the order of the day, with steady, solid drumming and soft dual-vocal harmonies fulfilling the soundscape. Track 3, "Foreign", is another perfect rendition of the base style of this band, and also by far the most instantly recognizable song on offer, with its chorus slowly wedging its way into your memory, further and further upon each consecutive listen.

The problem for SFS is that you can only scratch your head wondering how they can constantly remain this soft, for a finite measure of time, after which you'll become more and more prone to become sleepy - So I guess that makes the bandname rather appropriate then huh? There are twelve songs included on this album, and every time I listen, I find it quite easy to enjoy them and it feels as if they all promise that if I just pay a bit more attention, they'll reveal some inner greatness.. And then I doze off, and when I wake up, I hardly remember any of the sounds that have flown into my ears while I slumbered. Maybe it's me that's too much of a hothead to appreciate this kind of continual tranquillity, or maybe the songs are just rather samey to listen to, either way, the fact remains that I'd have to check the playlist to tell you the name of any other song than "Foreign". In doing so, I could reveal "The Fearless" and the closing title track as other potential winners, especially because the latter finally lets go and kicks up a bit of dust, however, as a whole, "The Clearing" is a record that may benefit from the strength of not aligning clearly alongside any other band I know, but it's still too much of a lullaby split in 12 for a guy like me, who always either sleeps or acts like he has a rocket up his ass. It's a good listen, sure thing, but even if you dig soft things, go for Lydia and Gracer first, and then if you still have an appetite for more, then you can come back to this.

Download: Foreign, The Fearless, The Clearing
For The Fans Of: Mae, Gracer, Hellogoodbye, Lydia

Release Date 2008

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