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Sleep Party People - We Were Drifting On A Sad Song (Review)

Sleep Party People, We Were Drifting On A Sad Song

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

SLEEP Party People have been described as Danish dream-gazers and that’s an apt way to describe their quietly mesmerising new album, We Were Drifting On A Sad Song.

The brainchild of Brian Batz, a multi-instrumentalist with a boundless imagination, the album takes its inspiration from the work of Boards Of Canada, David Lynch and Erik Satie, as well as some classic movie soundtracks.

It’s also bedded by the sound of the old battered piano that Batz found in his apartment, coupled with a freaky electronic alteration of his recorded voice, which serves to create an eerie, hypnotic sound that’s close to the ethereal style of Sigur Ros.

It’s very much a nocturnal listen, and one for the early hours as opposed to the lively midnight zone, yet contains a cinematic scope as well that’s equally beguiling.

In creating the sound, Batz has strived to evoke the disorientating world between being asleep and awake, although this wasn’t initially a conscious effort.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of instrumental ambient music, but I never felt that I should throw myself into making such music,” he said. “When I started the process, however, I really got the taste of it and loved the blend between the organic and digital world.”

The result admittedly is an acquired taste and is as eccentric as it is eerie in places. But there’s a great deal of beauty too of the bittersweet variety that pays lip service to the melancholy name of the album itself.

Highlights to look out for therefore include album opener A Dark God Heart, which makes genuinely effective use of the delicate melancholic piano melody at its heart, and Chin, which is the closest the album comes to disco or pop.

Title track We Were Drifting On A Sad Song is another cracker, relying on a stylised synth sound reminiscent to the kind found on the soundtrack to Drive (albeit with haunted vocals), while the melancholic piano returns to enchanting effect on the Melancholic Frog, which has a fairytale quality about it.

Gazing At The Moon opens in brooding fasion, before dropping in some lush piano melodies and a genuinely bouncing vibe to compliment the more pronounced vocals, while – in contrast – Things Will Disappear Like Tears In The Rain (great name!) has an anger about it that smacks of the frustrations and sadness implied by its name. The beat is much more energetic.

Batz rounds off the album, though, with The City Light Died, a beautifully low-key, nocturnal offering that practically enables you to see the early morning sunlight peering through the skyscrapers of the city in his mind.

Hence, while Sleep Party People won’t be to everyone’s tastes, it’s no less notable for being that way. If anything, it deserves extra marks for offering something so endlessly fascinating and unique.

Listen to Chin:

Download picks: A Dark God Heart, We Were Drifting On A Sad Song, Melancholic Frog, Gazing At The Moon, The City Light Died

Track listing:

  1. A Dark God Heart
  2. Chin
  3. We Were Drifting On a Sad Song
  4. Melancholic Fog
  5. Heavy Burden
  6. Gazing At the Moon
  7. Heaven Is Above Us
  8. Things Will Disappear Like Tears in the Rain
  9. The City Light Died