The Attic Sleepers

Lanquin EP

Written by: HES on 26/03/2015 15:59:44

Mew - watch out! In the past months I have stumbled upon bands making serious strives for the throne of introvert rock in the shape of first off the American band From Indian Lakes and now in Mew's own backyard; Danish band The Attic Sleepers, a band that excels in the art form of quiet grandeur of the same proportions as the Danish mega-success. The Attic Sleepers set the level of competition high with their EP "Lanquin" and I am not calling a winner of this battle yet. With a recent booking for both bands on Roskilde Festival, the battle field has been set though.

Whereas From Indian Lakes took inspiration from life without electricity in the Yosemite area in the US, The Attic Sleepers make use of more classic anglo saxon or dare I say it; "Nordic" melodic structures with guitars soaring in flute-like heights and patterns in an ethereal soundscape. Citing to have found the soundscape on a trip to Middle America, I am still inclined to name this product very Scandinavian, but for once, let’s use that pronoun is the most flattering sense: The soundscape is sometimes bright like a summer night, but mainly beautifully gloomy like a rainy day.

The track "Lines" manages to make use of an almost electric organ-sounding key, spliced and layered so that the otherwise very recognizable sound of the eighties instead becomes synth-like and full of air. Stereophonic chimes on "Airport" expand the directionality of the soundscape: Multidimensional mixing is common, but some use it better than others. In this case and in a pair of good headphones, the chime sound becomes a ray of light glimpsing through the trunks of old threes in a forest instead of being a sad background noise or down-right corny.

Vocally singer Mathias Barfoed is giving Jonas Bjerre of before-mentioned Mew a run for his money. The two are pitch-wise very close, but Barfoed is not only able to match Bjerre's characteristic falsetto on "Burning", but weaves in and out of the twist and turns of the uplifted chorus, adding his own personal characteristic, rather than just falling in to a comfortable, but sterile cloning project. In rock music it’s rare that we get to praise a vocalist for their technical ability, rather than just the emotive qualities and there is no doubt that Barfoed is technically capable.

To put it frankly: There are very few things to curb one's enthusiasm about the future of The Attic Sleepers. The duo presents an EP of comparable talent here and has rightfully so set the band on a trajectory to the stars – or at least some very solid festival-bookings this summer. But if one was to play devil’s advocate, I'd only really worry about diversifying the soundscape and tempi a bit. It is completely acceptable to want to present a unison expression on an EP and important to not confuse the curious listener by too many creative directions. But for the (hopefully already planned) full-length a bit of experimentation and explosions like on the cut "Burning", would bring some needed energy. The Attic Sleepers are only one match’s length away from sparkling like a firework.

Download: Airport, Burning, Ghost
For The Fans Of: Mew, From Indian Lakes, Sigur Rós

Release date 07.02.2015

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