Sleepy Sun - Private Tales - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Sleepy Sun - Private Tales

by Rob Taylor Rating:7 Release Date:2017-06-09

The cornerstone track on Private Tales, ‘Its Up To You’ is a secular hymn of Floydian proportions, and it shares a consonance with 'Space to Bakersfield' by Black Mountain. A transcendent aura. Hanging loose rather than bumming out, music can have a mournful subtext and still be oddly uplifting. Proof is right here on ‘Private Tales’ Sleepy Sun’s new album of laid back psych grooves. 

Sleepy Sun are less inclined to experimentation than in previous years, but in their musical convalescence they still transcend simple pop psychedelia. The little guitar wig outs, some of which seem straight out of the Dave Gilmour songbook. The washes of keyboard bordering on devotional. Captivating little instrumental redirections taking the mood and elevating it to another place.

Like Black Angels, but more restrained by kaleidoscopic ribbons of pop music, Sleepy Sun have positioned themselves at the accessible end of the psych market. More ruminative, chilled and mood- improving than dark metal variations in this genre, ‘Private Tales’ still broods but ultimately fits more reflectively with other sun-drenched psychedelia. Sure, the spiritual droning of ‘Prodigal Vampire’ might imply some tripped-out sorcery but these are intermittent excursions which change gear and always seem to head back to Haight Ashbury. Which isn't a bad thing you know. I for one am really loving all these variations on 60s and 70s pop and rock, because they were the coolest decades for androgynous good vibes. 

‘Throes’ is one such song that basks in the sunlight, the walking bass structure ambling comfortably alongside falsetto harmonies insinuating flower child innocence. Or ‘Demon Baby’ which might be a step too far in the direction of CSNY or the Doobie Brothers for some. Personally I blame all those proponents of yacht rock for this one. If they just kept their dirty cigar-stained hands and semen-stained lounges away from modern indie, we wouldn’t be get these junket offerings in thrall to fucking Steely Dan or whatever. 

Fortunately Sleepy Sun can write a straight out torchlight epic like ‘The Keys’ summoning an altogether more palatable ghost of classic rock. 

Private Tales is a brilliant half-album.


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Excellent review, Rob.

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