After seeing Sleeptalk at a Tuned Up show and meeting a boy who’s borderline obsessed with them – not only does he run the band’s street team, but I once got a Snapchat of him covered in Sleeptalk stickers as a joke – I had high hopes for the band’s self-titled, out this Friday, July 28, and the 12 spacey alt rock tracks did not disappoint.
The hazy purple album cover is true to the sound of the album. The intro track, named for both the album and the band, is roughly a minute long and is full of thick purple-and-blue smokiness. Later, “Midnight/3,2,1” is a similar eggplant hue, a weirdly intricate push-and-pull tension that resolves in a quick relief in the last thirty seconds of the song. It seems to come right off of a coming-of-age Hollywood soundtrack, from the scene where they’re watching the stars as they dance the rest of the evening into oblivion. In fact, that rings true for most of the songs on “Sleeptalk” – any one of them could be featured in the next teenage blockbuster.
“Sleeptalk” is definitely a classic electro-rock album. Between pounding synth and strong guitar, there’s no doubt that this sound is typical of the genre – upbeat, dancey, and full of life. Even seemingly angstier tracks like “Indio, California” are packed with energy, bringing back endorphins-filled memories from the show where I first discovered Sleeptalk. Each track is catchy and upbeat, and although at times it feels like there’s little intentional flow to the album as a whole, individual tracks have slowly crept into my summer party playlists.
Every time I hear “Young” or “Bright Eyes”, I flash back to the Donato’s basement with vivid purplish-pink lighting and the excitement of seeing someone perform for the very first time. Again, it’s definitely typical for the genre, but that isn’t a bad thing. In fact, the only song that I didn’t enjoy was the last one – “Drift Away” – which felt out-of-place and too choppy. Besides the last track, “Sleeptalk” is velvety and surprisingly smooth for a space rock album, like a new container of your favorite ice cream on a too-humid day (we’ve definitely had plenty of those lately in Columbus) or the satisfying electrifying feeling of a night well-spent (like at a concert, perhaps).
Besides the last track, “Sleeptalk” is surprisingly velvety for a space rock album, like a new container of your favorite ice cream on a too-humid day (we’ve definitely had plenty of those lately in Columbus) or the satisfying electrifying feeling of a night well-spent (like at a concert, perhaps).