By Emma Cohen of Indie Band Guru
The Smoking Bells have taken indie rock, the heart of their sound, and spiced it up with an unexpected tanginess on their new album, Sleeptalk, scheduled for release this Friday, March 4.
Full of personal touches from the artists themselves, the LP is more of an introspective piece of art, teaching the listener about the band, than a simple collection of songs. This is most evident in the dreamlike quality of the music and its relationship with band leader Darius Byrne’s battles with sleep paralysis.
The Sleeping Bells Push Boundaries
Each track transcends the body, pushing the listener to new levels of relaxation. The first, “Sleeptalk,” starts off with conflicting sounds that gradually blend together into a more rock-influenced tone than I was expecting.
While the lyrics are occasionally hard to decipher when placed on top of the dramatic, sometimes hard, instrumentals, the music speaks for itself. I feel like I gain an understanding of the meaning behind each track from the music alone.
This habit of The Smoking Bells, of combining seemingly contrasting sounds and textures, is seen especially in the first single from the album, “Good Woman.” The kind hearted lyrics are paired with music that is at times rough, and at others beautifully melodic.
Though relatively sparse in composition, the tune makes itself big, textured, and inspiring. It manages to be overpoweringly beautiful and hard to comprehend at the same time. This rare combination sends listeners on a trip within their own mind.
There is no downside to listening to this album. With each track, The Smoking Bells ever so subtly affect my mood, feelings, and outlook. Sleeptalk is a window into the minds of very talented artists collaborating in a profound and moving way.
Such an album can be a rare thing in this day and age of one-person-shows and easy at-home recording. In Sleeptalk, what The Smoking Bells give us is something very close to a gift.
Learn more about the Canadian-based psychedelic indie rock outfit here.