Last month, 19-year-old singer-songwriter Manning Patston released his debut EP Sleepless, taking listeners on a thoughtfully curated and raw musical journey.
Hailing from the Blue Mountains, Manning Patston’s sound has been crafted over the past four years, playing in and around pubs and bars, markets, pavements and bedrooms in the Blue Mountains, Sydney and Camden area.
Over a short period of time, the 19-year-old has been able to develop some immense musical and songwriting skills as is proven by all five tracks of the Sleepless EP.
Extending on Manning’s own talent, he boasts a skilled and highly capable band which allow for far more complex elements to be consolidated in the EP. This is what I think separates Patston from many current singer-songwriters and will also allow for far more explosive and compelling live performances.
The opening track Come Around is one of those songs which you feel like you already know at first listen, although it is wholly original. Emphasising melodies and texture, with astute chord changes and shifts in pace, it hard not to move along with this a-side. Furthermore, the incorporation of harmonies towards the end of the song also catch you by surprise, adding more depth to the track.
The EP’s second track Reds is probably the standout of the EP, not just for its sound, but the impressively raw lyrics which so perfectly capture the soul of Australia’s youth culture. Through exploring the hedonism of a night out, despite the fact that our expectations are rarely met, Reds pulls you in, leaving you hanging on to each and every lyric which is delivered with unique strength and tone.
Hold On is a catchy and melodic tune, which shakes things up with the accompaniment of female vocalists Andie, breaking up the EP thoughtfully, while We Ain’t slows things down again, demonstrating Manning’s vocal ability. Better Off In Dreams is the final track and is another highlight and is both dark and catchy simultaneously. Through the incorporation of various unique layers and faster rhythm, Manning flawlessly concludes the EP.
Sleepless is notable for its intelligent chamber-pop chord changes, surreal lyrical asides, compelling and charismatic vocals and sharp backing band. Be sure to listen to this talent and catch up live and local. It is clear that if this is the type of music he is creating now, more great things are on the way.
Sleepless is available on all streaming services now.
Check out Manning’s acoustic cover of Come Around Below: