Sleep Party People – 4th Draw Down / The Mind Still Travels

Drop a piano into an ocean that you’ve dreamed is real, deliver a string of notes that deal with the searching of memories, and you’ll get something of the emotions that Sleep Party People explore on “4th Drawer Down”, one of two surprise releases, dropped today.  The ethereal layers of that track sit in contrast to the second track. “The Mind Still Travels” is as close to a conventional pop song that Brian Batz ever gets. The contrasting songs land like a weather system touching land.

“4th Drawer Down” arrives like the signature of Sleep Party People. When Brian Batz began the project he did so on an old and battered piano. The quality of his work has forever been informed by that instrument. The scale of subjects and melodies hang heavy with a pensive energy. Since Sleep Party People’s self-titled 2010 debut album, Batz has nurtured the glitchy imperfections that make music more interesting. The breath between elements, the awkwardness of articulating sincerity – these are the things that underline the broader post-rock sound that evolved into a five-piece band. This instrumental single strips back intention, and returns to the root of a dream. The details of suspended piano notes is where the magic happens. The beauty of this thing is extraordinary.

“The Mind Still Travels” retains some of the wonder established in “4th Drawer Down” but it launches immediately into action. Spending little time on reflection; from the outset, this track sounds like it’s intent on radio play. Alternative pop that drives through a building progression, drum rolls, and a hook that earworms all the way to the back of you mind. This thing takes hold. Some analog-sounding synth-work builds a string section that whirls off over the horizon, and the fascination with dreams is retained – but this time dreams are of ambition and forward momentum. Lyrical surrealism is relayed into the artwork around this single as Sleep Party People describe the compulsion of the mind to find meaning in associated shapes.

With this double-header surprise release, we are, of course, hopeful for a follow-up to 2017’s full length album, Lingering. Warmth and coolness are served in equal proportion from an artist who is always compelling, always unique, and always worthy of further investigationGreat stuff.




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