Jonathan Bree had already developed a habit for crafting flawless sonic arrangements with his former chamber pop band The Brunettes… though now on his own, Bree has taken these dense sounds and driven them to a place far more eerie and unsettling.
From the moment you first lay eyes on his stony, inanimate face, you’ll most likely be asking yourself “what the fuck have I got myself into?” But diving into Bree’s latest masterpiece Sleepwalking will be well worth your time.
New Zealand artist Jonathan Bree’s new album Sleepwalking is like a bizarre, sprawling dream; the kind you wish you could exist inside forever.
With a deep, resonant baritone that will rattle your spine, Bree croons through intricate and melancholy art-pop songs with a strange intimacy and tenderness.
His full-bodied voice always sounds as if though it’s singing right above your left shoulder, breathing each syllable into your ear.
And while the album possesses various ghostly qualities, infectious grooves and catchy melodies continually seem to creep up on you from out of nowhere.
Say You Love Me Too, featuring vocals from Catalan singer Clara Viñals, holds a repetitive groove much like those found in the jazz/lounge-pop of Serge Gainsbourg, while album opener Sleepwalking sounds more like a demented nursery rhyme.
Album closer Fuck It is the perfect finale, building into a mangled anthem of post-punk and pop, before fading back into nothingness.
By its end, Sleepwalking feels like some strange dream. Not quite a nightmare, but still very bizarre – the kind of dream you don’t want to wake up from.
But unlike a dream, Sleepwalking is not a one-off. We can go back and listen to this over and over again… so excuse me, that’s exactly what I’m about to go and do.
Do yourself a favour and listen to the new album above.
Sleepwalking is out now.