Some songs have a trick where they sneak up on you unawares, grab a hold of you and then drag you on their journey with them. You become shackled to the beast, and while you may struggle and kick, there is no escape!
Slumber, then, is a sneaky beast. Featuring a characterful lead vocal from Mick Southerland (who comes across like a battered Bono, or Win Butler of Arcade Fire), it starts off utilising acoustic guitar as a drone note – like Bon Iver or Thomas Dybdahl often does. The melody is backed up with a muted piano, while the driving and relentless rhythm does the heavy lifting of taking the listener on the haul to the conclusion. It’s muscular, and there are many layers and colours at work here. The whole has the effect of a relentless machine – which brilliantly sets itself against the very, very human lead vocal, which is littered with creaking and affecting vibrato.
The chorus part of the song features a one syllable word per beat, which is ridiculously hooky. Repeat listens flag up the pop nous on display. Kaylee Ayers is adding tasteful backing vocals that back up the lead in just the right moments, but there are also quieter additional harmonies and backing vocals panned hard to the sides that are adding tasteful extras throughout.
The production is dreamlike: little buzzes, scrapes and knocks flesh out the percussive sound in really satisfying ways that only truly reveal themselves after repeat listens.
It’s epic, sounds effortless, and almost certainly wasn’t! Click on the link for a multi-layered and satisfying listen that’s full of hooks and character.