E.P Review: Sleeplore - S/T
Hello to the beginning of the end. The end of another year, Christmas came and went and yet more fear lurks around the corner in early 2022. The Omicron variant has entered the country and is spreading quicker than Ian Brown can click the 'Block' button on Twitter. Thankfully, it seems a much weaker strain than we've experienced previously and *whisper it cautiously*..we may get away relatively unscathed. Happy New Year!
We're all sick to the back teeth of talking about that though aren't we? I know I am.
November marked a year since I started NoNewWaveNoFun. Submissions were slow in the early days, but as the first few trickled in I realised that I needed to be a bit more visible - Instagram changed everything. One of the first submissions to really make me sit up and take notice came from across the pond.
Sleeplore is the work of Pennsylvania multi-instrumentalist and producer Clyde Rosencrance, and his wonderful 'Let Go' single was an early inductee into our Submission Hold section. It makes an elegant and enigmatic opener for his debut self-titled E.P with it's multi-layered mournful style- and it's this that very much sets the tone for the E.P as a whole.
A culmination of ten years of writing, it's only in the last year that Rosencrance's solo ambitions have come to the fore. Having performed in several bands over the years as well as running his own Republic Audio Studio - working with artists from all over the U.S - Sleeplore has been a project that has been treated like a marathon and not a sprint.
Clocking in at over five and a half minutes long; the same could be said about the E.P's second track 'Waited'. Building around a simple acoustic guitar riff thats acts as a fulcrum, Rosencrance uses his full vocal range to accomplished effect. The influence of Sparklehorse is very much to the fore here as he strains:
I waited all night, I waited all day.
Incorperating a more varied palete of instruments as the song progresses; it glides to an accomplished conclusion with the grace of 'The Bends' era Radiohead.
When reading through the press release, I was drawn to a word that I'd never come across before; it positively jumped out of the page at me. Hypnagogic - it's fair to say - had not been part of my lexicon until now. Hypnagogia is the state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep; it is common for muscle jerks, sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming to occur during this phase. It's also a state that Sleeplore tries to encapsulate with his production.
On 'Anything You Want To Know' and 'Just My Head', the hypnagogic state that Rosencrance looks to emulate is at it's most fruitful. Both tracks have a strong emphasis on sporadic processed beats that propel the songs forward with a sense of unpredictability underpinning them. The former has a more radio-friendly sheen to it than we've heard previously with 'Rush of Blood To The Head' era Coldplay and Death Cab for Cutie a good comparison. The latter by comparison, has a darker edge to it that wouldn't feel out of place on Radiohead's post 'Kid A' material.
The only minor disappointment of the E.P is that five of the six tracks had previously been released as singles; only closer 'Easy' is a new listen to those who have paid attention to Sleeplore previously - perhaps I'm just being greedy.. Thankfully, it adds a different feel to previous tracks, having a bright and breezy sound to it early on that counteracts some of the more introspective moments of the E.P - with it's jangly guitar line prominent. The mood seems to change as the song progresses and the guitars sound more gloom-laden than earlier; it reminds of the late Mansun single 'I Can Only Disappoint U'. The lyrics infer a much more unpleasant state of mind - a plea for a partner to be less forceful:
Take it easy on me
I only take so much
make it easy on me
Longing for your touch
As a new year sparks into life, it seems important to leave the past behind and take comfort in the present and thoughts of the future. Sleeplore has harnessed a backlog of songs and incorperated his musical past into this extraordinary E.P and the future is looking very bright indeed.
You can follow Sleeplore on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. As ever, we recommend that you buy from Bandcamp.
Written by Stephen Birch