Our Sleepless Forest
(02.2008, Resonant Records)
Verdict = Definitely sounds like a sleepless forest
Our Sleepless Forest is probably one of the more accurately self-descriptive band names I have heard in awhile (though Birchville Cat Motel is certainly a close second…right?). Listening to the band’s self-titled debut almost makes Our Sleepless Forest sound like a mission statement. Blistering with field recordings, primal yelps and a dense background of glittery chirps and buzzing drones, I probably would have described the sound of this album as a ‘sleepless forest’ if the band hadn’t already beat me to the punch (and perhaps that was the whole point). Not only that, but Our Sleepless Forest seems to be excited about the prospect of recreating all types of sleepless forests in the space of the album's eight tracks. For example, the album opener, “Nomads” starts things off with your standard, overgrown Amazon jungle with its tribal backbeat pressing things forward as primates yelp and insects buzz and multiply. “Doors In Limbo” is your sacred/magical oasis deep inside the heart of the forest where the trees open up to soft grass, exotic flowers and a crystal clear pond sparked and illuminated by the reflection of the moon. “Aircastles” drifts into a more moody, black-as-tar area of the forest deep within the undergrowth when you’ve definitely wandered into no man’s land and your chances of being devoured alive by human sized bugs are pretty much inevitable. All and all, it is eight tracks of thick, penetrating soundscapes that are layered incredibly and move (as you may have guessed) very organically. The music is simply amazing, with the ability to burrow deep under your skin, penetrating to the pit of your heart. It is an experience to say the least. Another reviewer has compared the bands sound to that of Animal Collective and Stars of the Lid among others, however, those two seem a particularly apt combination when looking for reference points for describing Our Sleepless Forest. They certainly carry touchstones from some of the very best bands making music today, but have managed to seek out a spot that is distinctly their own. Really wonderful stuff and highly recommended.
Our Sleepless Forest - "Nomads"