“The soundtrack you never heard to a movie that was never made about people you never met.” This is what you find in the “about” section on Sleep Lady’s Facebook page and it couldn’t be more fitting. Sleep Lady is a 5 piece, (mostly) instrumental post-rock / metal dream pop band from San Diego, CA. The band was formed in 2010 by guitarist Mike Hayden and his keyboardist wife Kristy, along with bassist Sarah Quintero and her guitarist husband Mario and founding drummer Jim Benuska, their excellent debut album Fighting for the Year was released later that same year. Benuska was later replaced by the superb Anthony Dixon for their even more excellent sophomore album So Long Lonely Ghost which was released in November 2012.
Sleep Lady’s sound is fluid melodies, dreamlike instrumentals, with many textures and wonderful song
arrangements that I am a sucker for. There is a catch though, minimal voclas. That’s a tough one for me, and I’m not sure if it’s a chick thing or what, but it’s something I miss when it’s not there. I do have to say though, when I listened to the first track off of So Long Lonely Ghost “Billions and Billions” I didn’t even notice there wasn’t any vocals until it was almost over, that’s how complete it is. I imagine the song is a love ballad because of the slow quiet build up that progresses into the intense key elements symbolizing the song’s deep affection. Then to my surprise I was teased with some an unexpected voice during the verse of “There are No Happy Accidents”, because of this I became hooked and wanted even more reverb soaked female sung melodies. I thought going into this album that I might become bored, because of the lack of vocals, but the songs on So Long Lonely Ghost are so original, heavy and creative that I never did. Here’s the thing, when you listen to music made by a group of people with instruments and no vocals and then listen to a piece of music made with just one person and a computer and no vocals, the first just sounds better. You can feel the energy and emotion coming through the bands instrumentation and compositions. However, I still longed to hear more and more of the dreamy vocals and I became all the more intrigued with being teased by a faint murmur here and there.
I really enjoy all the carefully placed drops of almost classical sounding keys mixed with the heavy guitar throughout the album, especially on track three “Drugged by the Sun”. “Someone Has To Win” is another highlight with its is soft and slow start that soars into a fast paced, pulse infused beat, probably the most intense song on the album. Most of the songs throughout So Long Lonely Ghost do begin soft, but grow into a loud aggressive good old hard rock toward the end and all of the tracks on the album have a continuity of musical disposition where it’s pleasing to the ear and enjoyable to listen to. “I Wanted to Be a Penguin Forever” is the song with the most memorable vocals, where a verse is repeated ever so softly twice before the song ends. The last track “These Fucking Worms” is longest at over nine minutes, this song has a great emphasizes on the drums and the heaviest riff of the album, which is a perfect way to close things out.
Despite my desire for more vocals to be incorporated thoughout the album, I really enjoyed what Sleep Lady has accomplished. The band has an interesting, captivating sound and So Long Lonely Ghost is a compilation of beautiful, genuine music that I could absolutely see being featured in a theatrical setting. So music supervisors out there listen up and check out Sleep Lady’s cinematic sound.