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A heroine is the woman of the hour*, someone with great courage, strong morals and positivity that radiates. However this isn’t necessarily the case in Art of Sleeping’s upcoming release. She’s described as a lover, a saviour, a friend, but also a heartbreaker, a puzzle and even a witch doctor. She pulls you up to the highest highs before plunging you into the lowest lows, a concept that nicely flows through the whole album.
Immerse yourself in every spine tingling moment of Shake Shiver from Art of Sleeping. The Brisbane quintet have a debut that reaches into your core being.
The Brisbane outfit are on the brink of dropping debut LP Shake Shiver – ten songs centred on this alluring heroine. After travelling, experimenting with new instruments and working on their live performances, Shake Shiver was carefully pieced together and recorded in the summer heat of Queensland at Airlock Studios.
One of the most successful experiments was with Big Scary’s Tom Iansek and long-term producer Yanto Browning, who helped capture the wide atmospheric sound of the band. “Working with Tom helped us explore a whole lot of new and different techniques for recording – flipping songs, inverting them and looking at them in a totally different way. Somewhere where we’d play a piano chord, instead we’d flip it open and pluck the actual strings,” the band said.
The first single was Crazy, released as a teaser for Shake Shiver in December last year. Crazy has a nonchalant sex appeal that makes it just as much at home in the bedroom as in a smoky dive bar in the underground depths of Sydney. Like a gentle lover of sorts, the song is intoxicating, steady and demonstrates strength without being overbearing. It slinks along, with sultry lyrics “Sweet taste of you lingers and you’re crawling through my veins” complimented by sleek, soaring guitars peaking in the final 30 seconds.
Contrasting Crazy is the ambient second single released off the album, Voodoo. Voodoo represents the aftermath of an addictive, encompassing relationship that has recently ended. Art of Sleeping have somehow managed to eloquently describe that weird purgatory stage between being in a relationship and having moved on. Caleb Hodges sings about heartbreak, confusion and seeing your ex’s new partner all with a brave honesty, allowing Voodoo to serve as an open letter to lovers past.
Track three Jefferson breathes new air into the retro stylings of 70’s rock, bringing it into a modern setting. Jefferson is engaging from the get-go, highly textured with a few moments of clarity to enjoy the melodic guitar riffs. The percussion is thumping and allows the song to stand as the powerhouse of Shake Shiver, rivalling only the anthem that is Bleeding Out.
I’m Not The One and Burning Bright take a more sombre approach, with Hodges explicitly admitting his faults to the bittersweet tunes of soothing guitar licks. The final few acoustic seconds of I’m Not The One transition as smooth as butter into Burning Bright, never breaking composure between songs like so many other albums do. The latter track is a clear standout, not only showcasing the band’s ability to work across multiple genres but also with the pained lyrics “So why do you feel so far away when you’re right there in my bed…so I hide in my suitcase oh and you hide in your head.”
When discussing the main concept of Shake Shiver, Art of Sleeping have said: “After all this experimenting we created all this emotive and thought provoking music that was very layered and dense – and that, we described it as though it makes you ‘shiver’ – music that makes you feel something on an emotional level.” Between strands of folk and layers of searing rock, the five-piece leave barely any stones unturned, ensuring each song is beautiful in content and composition.
Shake Shiver has an almost indescribable earthy quality to it, the kind of sound that can fill a room with pulsing energy but also sling back into a mellow ambience. It’s inviting, it’s relatable but most importantly, it fulfils the brief the band originally set, to create music that reaches deep into your core. With obvious influences of 60’s and 70’s rock, Art of Sleeping have composed an LP that has he ability to transcend years, even decades, with a universally approachable and enjoyable sound.
Art of Sleeping’s debut LP Shake Shiver is set to be released July 17 via Dew Process.
*Ed: or century if you’re Lucy Lawless.
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