Friday, October 29, 2021

Sleepyhead Sound Dreamy On Latest EP ‘Blue’

Sleepyhead, the indie-pop duo from Manchester, have succeeded where many bands have failed before them. Being able to keep their project going whilst both studied in different cities at university, the pair of Seb Reid and Matt Davies have gone from strength to strength since graduating. 

As a DIY band - writing, recording and producing their own music - the outfit released their debut EP ‘Outside’ in 2019, before following it up with the wonderful double A-side ‘Night Songs’. After being tipped for great things by Landr, Sleepyhead are back with a fresh EP ‘Blue’, which serves as the first half of their debut full-length LP, the latter half being set for an early 2022 release.

Filled with rich vocals and dreamy guitars, opener ‘The Agency Group II’ is a strong start. With a sound reminiscent of the early work of The Vaccines, the angsty lyrics are delivered with a wonderful tone by singer Seb Reid as he bemoans - “Took you to my favourite place and you hated it”. The track is filled with intricacies and surprises, perfectly encapsulated by the ‘80s hair-metal inspired guitar solo that serves as the highlight of the song. 

‘Still Friends’ is an excellent 2-minute rollercoaster of pounding drums and heavy guitars whilst the brooding ‘Long Goodbye’ is a brilliant introspection of teenage love. As Seb sings “I’m not a rat in a cage” we get a sense of the malaise that takes hold in many young relationships that are thrust into long-distance due to university. The music, alongside the lyrics, are presented in a delicate yet tight fashion that is fast becoming synonymous with a band that aren’t afraid to write a great pop hook. 

Acoustic guitars are given their first run out during ‘Day 2’ as tight, ethereal riffs are layered over the track. “She loves you, it’s true / She only wants you” sings Reid, as the reverbed vocals talk of love on what is a modern take on a classic ‘60s sounding pop song.  

Riffs straight out of the early noughties garage-rock revival kick off the penultimate track ‘Centrefold’. It’s another fine example of a band unafraid to stretch their musical wings as electric drums make their first appearance on the release. A breakdown reminiscent of Bloc Party’s ‘Helicopter’ adds even more life to the track, which is easily the most accessible and radio-ready song the band possess. 

Closer ‘Interlude I’ is a slow and airy number, which serves more as a build-up to their early 2022 release than anything else. The soft, reverberating guitars are a reminder of the instrumental talent the band possess, and it leaves you in no doubt that Sleepyhead are certainly a band to be excited about. 

James Ogden 

Image: ‘Blue’ Official EP Cover 

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