Home > News & Reviews > Sleepy Sun

Sleepy Sun - Private Tales (Album Review)

Thursday, 15 June 2017 Written by Graeme Marsh

‘Private Tales’, the fifth studio album from San Francisco psychedelic rockers Sleepy Sun, arrives three years after an impressive predecessor, ‘Maui Tears’. With producer Colin Stewart returning after a two album absence, it’s almost as though the comfort of familiar friends being on hand, along with a newfound “spaciousness”, has brought them to a point where they’re making records in a much more relaxed state.

Tellingly, this lack of pressure has enabled them to let the songs develop rather than forcing them. “I appreciate the spaciousness that is left for the listener,” explained guitarist Evan Reiss. “I like music that gives them an opportunity to breathe, as opposed to jamming ideas into someone’s ears at all times.”

This approach is at the heart of the record. Opener Prodigal Vampire is a self-confessed “dronefest” where a misleadingly horrifying title masks an achingly gorgeous song.

Despite its lyrics telling of fangs sinking into flesh, it’s a moment of sublime ambience where Bret Constantino shares vocal duties with Hannah Moriah to create beautiful harmonies against a minimalist backdrop.

Lead single Seaquest then brings in the full band, linking seamlessly with its forerunner and evoking an air of grandiosity that recalls Pink Floyd. Its melodically perfect guitars create lazy, summery verses and a swooning chorus.

The album highlight – It’s Up To You – continues the Floydian overtures, but this time cranks them up as a stunning, floating soundscape is crafted. The notes are given the space to shine between emotion-soaked keyboard chords and flecks of guitar. Its solo, meanwhile, simply soars. It’s not quite Comfortably Numb, but it is awesome nonetheless.

The slower, sludgy When The Morning Comes recalls American psych stalwarts the Black Angels, with its vocals particularly reminiscent of Alex Maas. The constantly morphing cut veers sonically between the Angels and Canadian rockers Black Mountain, whose influence can also be seen on the crunching riffage of Crave before it heads down a lush, mellow path as its lyrics tell of a teacher-pupil relationship.

Inspired by a piano owned by Constantino, The Keys blends some brilliant Thin Lizzy style guitars with three-part vocal harmonies for the album’s most radio friendly moment. The laid back, percussion-free acoustic strumming of Plea features more divine harmonies, this time with the New Pornographers’ Kathryn Calder stepping in. Closing the album, Reconcile then slow burns its way to a cataclysmic drum performance amid swirling guitars.

The depth of each track reveals itself gradually, rewarding those who invest the time and attention this album requires to be fully appreciated. And by allowing the songs on ‘Private Tales’ the room to play out on their own terms, the vastly underrated Sleepy Sun have delivered another excellent collection.

Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!

You May Also Like:

'Hate Is A Really Rich Well To Draw From': Lice Talk 'It All Worked Out Great'
Fri 06 Apr 2018
“Support us? We’re gonna be supporting you, mate. You come to this city you’re gonna learn the meaning of support.” That’s what Joe Talbot told Alastair Shuttleworth when they first met in Bristol three years ago. Shuttleworth, an English student moonlighting as a music writer, had interviewed the Idles frontman earlier in the evening and now, with a few beers in his belly at an afterparty, was asking whether his band, Lice, could open one of their shows.
Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens (Album Review)
Wed 21 Mar 2018
Photo: Rick Froberg Few corners of the music world subscribe to the law of diminishing returns quite like reunion albums. They are, broadly, to be treated with suspicion. What are the motives behind them? Does each note contained within sound like a dollar sign rolling around in cartoon eyes? Do the band care? Do we care?
The Magic Gang - The Magic Gang (Album Review)
Tue 20 Mar 2018
Photo: Dan Kendall There’s nothing edgy about the Magic Gang’s self-titled debut. It’s not offensive, it’s not abrasive, it’s not cynical and it certainly isn’t controversial. It’s lacking in a number of seemingly crucial qualities possessed by many classics. And yet that’s precisely why the record feels as fresh as the summer breeze it so often evokes.
Mid 30s Angst: Mastersystem's Scott Hutchison on Using The Past To Undersand The Present
Thu 05 Apr 2018
Sega started phasing out the Master System in the late ‘80s. That’s just how it goes with consoles. It’s always about what’s new and next. But you can still find them, knocking about under a film of dust in an attic or perched next to an ancient Nintendo on a completist’s shelf.
Mount Eerie - Now Only (Album Review)
Wed 21 Mar 2018
Mount Eerie’s Phil Elverum is a musician unlike almost any other. His music, lacking in any perceptible pop structure, plays like a stream of consciousness; raw, without embellishment, and completely devastating. Following the death of his wife, Geneviève, Elverum explored his grief through his work, resulting in the release of a critically acclaimed album, ‘A Crow Looked At Me’.
Cardi B - Invasion of Privacy (Album Review)
Fri 13 Apr 2018
One thing is for sure: Cardi B is no one hit wonder.
The Slow Readers Club Share New Single You Opened Up My Heart
Mon 12 Mar 2018
The Slow Readers Club have released a new single.
Nervus - Everything Dies (Album Review)
Fri 16 Mar 2018
The title of Nervus’s sophomore album belies an optimistic streak. ‘Everything Dies’ suggests a bleak outlook and little hope of consolation, but throughout the record vocalist and guitarist Em Foster discusses acceptance, both personal and societal, alongside some frank words about insecurity and the damage done by preconceptions.
< Prev   Next >