The opening of Sleepaway’s self-titled album may not be the most hard-rocking thing individuals have ever heard, but the one thing that is pure delight is the skill in which they construct a track. The dreamy vocals mix with a tambourine and a very-present bass to make something that works both in the current emo context but also in a mid-nineties alternative context. The band works best in this slower style, but this does not mean that the instrumentation or arrangements that hit listeners during this disc are anything but the best; the interplay among instruments during “Time, Traffic, and Weather” should show that.
The use of layers on this album is perhaps the one reason that individuals should go out and pick up this album; it is not just a few people playing a few instruments, but different noises pounding listeners like a tidal wave, many in number and without remorse. A track like “Best Unspoken” links the band to the more sedate, 2000-era Deep Elm bands and also to the current hit-makers Reliant K. The band would be expected to have a few faster tracks, to possibly get the next radio hit but Sleepaway’s album is solid through and through. The sedate is what they do; this is an album that individuals should slap on a set of headphones onto. The use of a synthesizer to open up “Who Needs the Radio When You’ve Got Me?” is something small, but really sets the stage for the second half of the disc. The mystery bag in which Sleepaway pulls random things out on this album is endless; Sleepaway is an act that should skyrocket in popularity just as soon as individuals find out about them.
Each of the songs are ready for the radio, but they are also solid bits of music that will get individuals actively participating with the band. Sleepaway is a sleeper act, and through solid tracks like “Understand”, it should only be a matter of time before they can be considered a sleeper hit. The smooth vocals, very intelligent arrangements, and full sound of the band are the three things that Sleepwell does best, and it will be these three things that will set the band up for bigger days in the future. Just listened to the controlled distortion at the bottom levels of the track during “Understand” and tell me you are not a fan based solely on that!
Top Tracks: Understand, Best Unspoken