If anything, Decomposed is less an experiment and more a magnifying glass on what Sleepy Driver have always done well as a band and not just as a vehicle for Hick's distractingly good lyrics. It's especially great to hear so much more of Ethan Young-Lai's keys that have provided such an important and unique texture to the band's Americana sound.
Favorite track: Underneath The Shadows.
Dedicated to all of the incredible people in our lives. This is for you.
As you listen, you might be thinking, “What the –– ?” Is this a Sleepy Driver album? No. Yet it is 100% Sleepy Driver. Again, what?
If this album has a concept, it is one of texture, and the revelation that underneath the surface of a recorded song lives a whole other piece of music. When you strip away the “composition” – key song elements like the words, the base chords, the vocal melodies – and you let the instruments that support the song come through to the forefront, what remains is no less beautiful, no less unnerving. Sometimes what is left bears no resemblance to the original song.
You've heard this music before, but you haven't heard it like this.
Case in point: “Where The Light Is Low,” which is in fact “Silverback Dog” but without the core instruments you would associate with the tune. No drums, no acoustic guitar, no driving piano or soaring lead guitar. The textures that remain are akin to the soundtrack from an 80’s John Carpenter film: synthesizers and pads and bells, guitar swells. I don’t know about you, but I find it remarkable and actually kind of awesome. Go back and forth between this and the original and you’ll recognize they are parts from the same song. Just … different. That’s part of the rationale of employing alternate titles.
Other times, counter-melodies step to the front and now drive the music. The response becomes the call. And suddenly there is a different doorway into the song, a different place of entry.
I assembled this playlist using a cross-section of songs from each record plus one from our forthcoming release. Tunes have been deconstructed, re-mixed, re-imagined using what was already there from the original sessions. No additional instruments have been tracked. I feel it highlights the contributions of every member of Sleepy Driver: Dave Palmer, John Heinstein, Ethan Young-Lai, Mike Hatheway Barry Hughes, and Peter Hicks. Their fingerprints are all over this.
As a standalone album, “Decomposed” is late-night music: a soundtrack for meditation, for relaxation, for contemplation, an exploration of the deeper layers that exist below the composition. We hope you enjoy it.
- Peter Hicks
released May 26, 2017
Performed by: Ethan Young-Lai, Mike Hatheway, John Heinstein, Dave Palmer, Barry Hughes, and Peter Hicks
Built on the solid foundation of front-man Peter Hicks' songwriting, SLEEPY DRIVER melds traditional and progressive musical
influences together to create a truly original blend of songs which lurch with schizophrenic grace between sweetly tender ballads to darkly hopeful songs about life's wrong turns....more