Review: Sleeping Lessons — ‘Red Sprites’

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Do you find yourself searching for musical variety in a neatly wrapped dream-pop outfit along the lines of Glass Animals, Foster the People, and Big Data? Well Seattle based Sleeping Lessons has it all. On October 14 this year the band released Red Sprites, an enjoyable, varied collection of Northwest indie-pop.

“Intro” opens the album with a tried-and-true radio clip combined with electro-pop beats. Enough to excite any Caravan Palace fan. “Chasing Ghosts” delves down an indie-rock path with just a touch of electro-pop. The layered vocals are reminiscent of indie-rockers The XX.

“Lovely People” sees the introduction of the band’s distinct dream-pop sound. A medley of etherial keyboard and a stark bass line make this track a definite highlight on the album for me. “Big Stars” continues down the electro, dream-pop path in an upbeat number with sounds reminiscent of a Nintendo golden age video game soundtrack. The chorus on this song is ridiculously catchy and will circle around your head long after the song ends.

“1995 (explicit)” has a bouncing bass line with a Tame Impala, dreamy quality to it and the distorted vocals on this track show a new side to the band’s complex sound. The album continues to evolve in texture with “Call On Me,” a chill, dream-rock tune. Inflections of Foster the People can be heard at certain points in the song making it perfect for commercial radio play.

“Breathe” is a ghostly track with sleepy vocals and a plethora of etherial sounds. The simplicity of this song prepares to bring the album to a close. It’s followed by the title track “Red Sprites” which continues with dreamy sounds. It is a slow, thoughtful piece that is instrumental until the last two minutes, while “K” is an acoustic guitar track closing the album with a new sound entirely.

I have yet to come across an album that has so many stylistically different tracks. From coming-of-age-indie-film soundtrack, to epic house show, to thought-provoking playlist for the bus.

(You can check out Sleeping Lessons on Facebook and you can listen to them at Bandcamp and/or stream ‘Red Sprites’ below) 

Sarah DiMuzio

Sarah DiMuzio is a Portland based musician-music-enthusiast hybrid. On the musician side she is a singer-songwriter who releases music under the moniker Whim, and to date has one EP released titled "Small Infinity - EP." On the music-enthusiast side, she delights in seeing local shows, and has recently started a local music showcase titled Portland Selfie Sessions. The main idea behind the sessions is simplicity. Without the budget for filming equipment, or the knowledge to use said equipment, Sarah makes due filming sessions using her smartphone-- hence the name "selfie" sessions. You can check out her music at https://whimmusic.bandcamp.com, and you can learn more about Portland Selfie Sessions on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/portlandselfiesessions