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Sleeping at Last


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This group is one of the most talked-about new bands out there. I mostly ignored the hype, but when a friend sent me a copy of their debut LP, Ghosts, I was pleasantly surprised. It's not a perfect album, but a darned good debut.

The sound is atmospheric and guitar-heavy. Consider it a cross between Zwan and Unforgettable Fire-era U2, with a bit of Radiohead thrown into the mix for good measure.

The lead singer's voice isn't very engaging, but it's pleasant enough. His lyrics, on the other hand, are really quite impressive. I can't think of many other debuts from the past few years that are as poetic and artfully written as this one is.

Anyway, I'd give it a solid B, perhaps a B+. Anyone else heard 'em? If not, check 'em out. Jump on the bandwagon now, because I predict that these guys are really going to take off over the new few years.

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We had these guys play at our church years ago when they weren't quite as popular, and even back then i thought to myself, "This band is amazing. They are going to go as far as they desire."

Since then i've seen them several times, each of them great musically, but at Cornerstone i was hoping for just a little more "presence." I kept getting impatient in between tunes when it took them 20-40 seconds to get the next song started. I can't remember exactly why that was (i wonder if the guitar player uses all kinds of alternate tunings? Was that it?) but i was looking for something a bit more commanding from them, attitude-wise, and ended up leaving the show early. [it should be pointed out that the music was still great, although it all started to sound the same after a half hour or so.]

I will look forward to the new project now that i know it's out.

-s.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just bought this album two weeks ago and I don't think I've listened to anything else since then. Wow. While the latter half gets bogged down a bit, the first half (exception is song #2) is incredible. If they keep the maturity level (Ryan O'Neil, who writes all of the songs, is only 19!) high, they should have a great sophmore album.

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  • 2 years later...

Some news:

The band has a 4-track limited edition EP for purchase on their website. It contains two b-sides from the Ghosts session and a couple of arrangements of Christmas songs.

They are recording an album for release in May. A friend of mine saw them in concert recently, and they played some new songs. He said that they were "quite different" from the material on Ghosts.

Finally, you can download Capture, their first album, from their website.

Edited by Clint M
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Finally, you can download Capture, their first album, from their website.

Thanks for the tip! I'm downloading it now. I got to see Sleeping at Last for free last summer (a friend of mine had an extra ticket for Switchfoot/Sleeping at Last) and really, really enjoyed their set.

The link to download the record is buried (on purpose, I think) but if you don't want to dig, here it is:

http://www.sleepingatlast.com/secret_capture_page.htm

I do encourage you to look around, though - they've got a really lovely site. Great design.

bvl

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  • 3 months later...
  • 8 years later...

So these "guys" have dropped members and gained exposure through TV episodes and movies trailers since the last time this thread was bumped (heck, people were using LaLa the last time this thread was bumped, it might as well be a new world). I've just grabbed the massive Atlas: Year One collection. It is very vibrant. His compositions are accessible, exciting. I cannot tell if I love or hate his lyrics at this point. It may be because I've been studying Hopkins' nature poetry these past couple weeks and everything else pales in comparison and it's affecting my judgment. His voice, though, reminds me of someone. It is a higher version of a voice I've heard before, but I just can't quite place it.

Anyone else been listening to this?

Edited by Scholar's Parrot
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I'm a big fan of Sleeping At Last, and I'm really happy for Ryan O'Neal and the exposure/popularity he's received in the last few years. 

 

Lyrically, I don't think much would stand up when compared to Hopkins (not much does, in my books), but while I think O'Neal can dip his pen a little too deep in the ink well of inspirational sentiment, he has a way with words that consistently captures my attention. Some of his older songs, like "Careful Hands" and "Naive" are particularly good. He has a knack for ambiguous, poetic terms of phrase that actually have a deeper thought/context behind them, rather than just pretty words strung together.  I've found that apart from individual songs like the ones I just mentioned, Atlas is his best work to date. The majestic, sweeping scope of the Space 1 and Space 2 leaves me in awe everytime I give it the attention it deserves, especially "Mercury." I truly appreciate O'Neal's intentions to craft each EP not simply around a lyrical concept, but with musical themes as well; if you keep an ear tuned for subtle unique instruments/effects in the production, or how often he uses a specific category of instrument for one song - it's more complex than it seems as first.

 

Oh, and whenever discussing Sleeping At Last, I can't leave out the artwork. O'Neal's been collaborating with Geoff Benzing for years now, and he consistently creates gorgeous paintings for the albums (and in both the Yearbook and Atlas collections there are more paintings included than just the album covers).

"What's prayer? It's shooting shafts in the dark." -- Frederick Buechner, Godric

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