You Want The Night
40:27 min • Minty Fresh • June 17, 2014
Andrew Darley reviews
There’s no argument that Sleep Thieves have taken their time making their debut album. Releasing their first EP back in 2009, the Irish synthpop trio experienced an intermittent interval, largely due to a personnel change in which co-founders Sorcha Brennan and Wayne Fahy recruited Keith Bryne to form the current ensemble. Releasing their Islands EP in 2011, it was blatant that the new addition to the band had brought about a new dynamic and ironed out some creases in their direction. The songs on this EP, some of which are carried over onto this album, were more driven with new blood running through them. The trio ready to make their full-length record, decided to leave the confines of a recording studio in favour of setting up their own with analogue and digital equipment.
Opening with ‘City Of Hearts’, You Want The Night slinks in on sultry synthesizers and projects their discernible new energy. It’s a song of the isolation and wistfulness of living in a city; life rushing past as we try to find our own little bit of happiness. Sorcha gazes, “I wanted not to be lonely but still alone” before the sweeping chorus kicks in. There’s a breathability that perfectly opens the album and a new page for the band. From there, they jump straight into ‘Sparks’, a song that could perfectly bounce along on a John Hughes classic soundtrack, before delivering the unsettling title song. Each song is focused and contains its own character as they explore several styles across the album.
‘Through A Sea’ is the bewitching heart of the record and may well be their most ambitious song to date. Bringing us into the middle of nowhere, ominous synths swing in and out as Sorcha sings of a love who “jumped away from me”. After around two minutes, the unexpected happens; beats start stuttering in before taking off into dance as the chants of “I submit to your control” echo in the background. It’s a chilling effect that is brilliantly executed. Elsewhere, ‘French Kiss’ has a sensual, yet shadowy, texture that is grounded by an unforgettable, lingering bass line. Their first full-length album boasts an unwavering confidence within the band. Their song structures are more experimental and playful than before, whilst Sorcha comes into her own as a front-woman. She commands a dynamic in her voice that can be both sweet and sharp.
By the end of the album, there is a sense that the band have simultaneously have grown in leaps and bounds, yet still hold the spirit of when they first emerged. You Want The Night expresses a similar lovelorn feeling and the dream of romance that features on one of their earliest singles, ‘City Lights’. The difference from when they first started is that they are able to communicate in a more direct and sophisticated way. Although they are still very much discovering their sound, they have made their debut one that counts. It features their best work to date and leaves it right open to where they could go next. As their songwriting, identity and ability to conjure moods blooms, there’s a certain magic in how they encapsulate the sprawling feeling of loneliness in such a simple way as they do on the album’s opener. Great things come to those who wait.
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