– by Maggie Bochat
After a string of EP’s, Brisbane band Art of Sleeping finally serve up their debut album, Shake Shiver. The indie rockers, who cite Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons as major influences, have just finished up their national ‘Voodoo’ tour.
I was lucky enough to see them perform live amongst packed crowds at Mojo’s and Capitol Amplifier. Weeks after the shows and I’ve been listening to their Spotify religiously, analyzing their outfit coordination on instagram, and impatiently refreshing their Facebook feed, hungry for more. And here it is. Produced by Lasse Marten, Shake Shiver is a seven track summary of love songs you wish were about you. Or maybe that’s just me…
The album opens with Win Your Heart. Soaring vocals, a drumbeat, guitar chords; the band nails it every time in musical layering. The perfect opening, like when the sun wakes you up after a killer nights sleep, it’s standard indie pop rock padded up with instrumental for super easy listening.
And then comes Crazy, the standout of the album. The musical version of a squad being on point, every band member owns their role. Especially king is front-man Caleb Hodges’ soaring vocals – that’s some serious talent. You can’t help but feel the drumbeat like it’s your heart, getting caught up in all the emotions and passions and feels mixed up in this fiery tune.
Jefferson tones it down, trying something a little different. It’s a bit 90s rock, a bit Chilli Peppers, but muted by the familiar folk sounds woven into each Art of Sleeping song. I feel like grooving to this but it doesn’t leave a mark.
I Could Make You Happy is my favorite. Haunting gospel melodies mix with a darker tone and a guitar riff that’s catchy as hell. I’ve had it playing on repeat, the line “if only I could make you stay” trembles so gently it feels like a tiny spider. Bleeding Out brings the mood back up, with a guitar and keyboard combo that you’d want to listen to on a 10km run.
Every album needs a good ballad, and I’m Not the One is just that. It’s the kind of track that makes you want to walk on a beach in winter and think of everyone you’ve ever loved. It should be in a movie about teenage love, right after a fight. Preferably when it’s raining. And nighttime. Dramatic stuff.
We are left with Burning Bright, an acoustic tune unlike anything else on the album. It sounds like Angus Stone and Edward Sharpe, and it’s beautiful. The song finishes with “Why do you treat me like a stranger?”. If Shake Shiver is anything to go buy, Art of Sleeping won’t be strangers for much longer.
Photo Credit: Matthew Picken