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Time to wake up to The Sleepy Jackson


Story: Jack Foley

SINCE emerging from Perth, Australia, some 18 months ago, The Sleepy Jackson have steadily been building some impressive word of mouth.

Their current single, Vampire Racecourse, was quickly embraced by XFM and appeared as record of the week on several shows, including Zoe Ball and Christian O'Connell.

Needless to say, their appeal is massive in Australia, but it has also spread throughout Europe - and expect America to dig it too.

The brainchild of eccentric singer/songwriter Luke Steele (described on the band's website as a fusion of Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon), the band aren't afraid to acknowledge their musical influences, but retain a sound that is unmistakeably their own.

Likewise, they thrive in their diversity, writing pop records, psychedelic numbers and country-inspired tracks that make them difficult to pin down.

Indeed, following the release of their second EP, Let Your Love Be Love, one excited reviewer raved that 'Luke Steele's lack of direction IS his direction' before heralding the band as an outfit to watch.

Now, however, the Sleepy Jackson present their first album, Lovers, which confirms Steele as an artist of extraordinary depth and songwriting talent.

Steele readily confesses to revelling in the unexpected, twisting rudimentary rock and pop arrangements into something fresh, original and exciting.

"It's getting easier and easier day by day,'' he says. "I've always been scared of becoming old hat. Every song has to be a little bit different, even if it's just a minor thing.''

Recorded in Coogee, NSW, with producer, Jonathan Burnside, Lovers is the album that looks set to confirm The Sleepy Jackson as one of the most exciting long-term prospects to come out of Australia for many years.

And Steele is in no doubt that it is just the beginning.

"It's going to get bigger, broader .... and maybe a bit more screwed up,'' he promises.

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