Monday, February 9, 2009
Award* Winning Record Review - Sleep Well
Forgive this post. It isn't often that SCQ has the opportunity to brag much but when a Top Prize from Soundscapes enters the picture, I feel the need to celebrate. Sure, the "Top Prize" is a $50 gift certificate* but as the generous crowd at Soundscapes knows, anyone who cares enough about albums to enter this competition will treat this like pirate treasure. That's it photographed... a rare picture indeed since it's already cashed in. Here is the award* winning epic, based on true events:
**Why Sleep Well by Electric President is my Favourite Album of 2008**
Like a recently landed immigrant to the downtown core, I found myself living in the city I used to catch the skyline of from afar. Instead of waves splashing stone, I now heard hundreds of languages, traffic-light bird-calls and subways screeching while I squeezed shoulder-to-shoulder among commuting strangers. Long days usually ended with my sneakers wandering the orb-lit sidewalks of Palmerston, on down to College and into Soundscapes.
My humid July evening was beckoning something unheard and electronic so I explored the rows of plastic and digipack spines until one, a rainbow of blues and blacks, caught my eye. I’d merely a passing interest in Electric President because of my respect for their label, Morr Music, but even so cannot explain – whether it was desperation or some paranormal intuition – why I purchased it. Thanks to my unfashionable but reliable discman, which had spun opener ‘Monsters’ by the time I’d turned back onto Palmerston, I knew the choice was indeed some fluke-case of intuition.
Seemingly designed for humid night-walks, Sleep Well deserves every nocturnal reference it chews on. Songs like ‘We Will Walk Through Walls’ and ‘Ether’ describe harrowing visions that, despite tightroping between dream and nightmare, manage to soothe my ears, while ‘Graves and the Infinite Arm’ and ‘It’s An Ugly Life’ blend Beach Boys’ vocal harmonies with euphoric sweeps of synths. Between expansive arrangements of the full songs and transient instrumentals that slide by like morphing dreams, Sleep Well cooled down my summer rush. Like a good friend, it sweet-talked me out of my Toronto-anxiety and forced me to appreciate little moments. That night I walked home from Soundscapes was among the best of them.