Sleep ∞ Over
Release Date: Sep 27, 11
Sleep ∞ Over’s Forever is just so named. By casual, I mean in the everyday sense, given today’s musical climate, which is rife with artists and bands revisiting and reinterpreting the eighties. For an album that channels Kate Bush and Cocteau Twins as much as it does, Forever is a part of that revivalism whether it likes it or not. That Sleep ∞ Over exercises such care in excavating that eighties sound is what makes the album a brilliant diamond, abundant in beauty and rare in form.
Like most great albums, Forever has both movements and proper songs, namely, droning, experimental interludes and polished pop gems. There’s a brilliant blend of New Age synth meanderings, the mechanic beats of Cold Wave, the searing grandiosity of shoegaze and the power of pop. The blaring swirls of paranoid sound on “Behind Closed Doors” could have sound-tracked the moon monolith scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Meanwhile, “Porcelain Hands” reminded me of the blissed-out interludes on My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. “Crying Game” is a three-part exploration of industrial decay, urban fright and extra-galactic travel. It’s one of the coolest songs I’ve heard in a long time, instrumental or otherwise.
The more straightforward, pop-based songs on Forever are just as great. The freakish specter of early breakout “Your World Is Night” is still very much present here, but the caliber of songwriting has improved dramatically. The result is something akin to a more narcotized Beach House. Songs such as “Romantic Streams” and “Casual Diamond” feature slow-dance drum beats, eternally-echoing vocals and soaring guitar riffs. The mark of Cocteau Twins is undeniable, but so is the idea you’re listening to transcendent future music. Forever is definitely one of the year’s best albums. One day, it might be a classic.