Way back in mid 2012, a track surfaced on Soundcloud called 'Dude York Pt. 1', by a band called The Joys Of Sleeping. Just one song, no further explanation, and I fell in love with it. So time and again I checked back hoping for more, however it wasn't until a year later that 'Dude York Pt. 2' surfaced. Still no answers were to be found, but I just savoured the 7 minutes of music that I did have. The waiting began yet again, and in November 2014, the band shared a third song, Reception, announcing that their first EP would be released in January 2015. That's where we find ourselves currently. Two and half years later, we finally have EP1.
The band, who consists of Sam Hatchwell & Dave Saunders, have an interesting back story, but there's more to come on that front very soon. For now, I'll focus on the music.
The opening track 'Swiftly' welcomes us with delicate strings, and rich, plucked guitars. The shuffling drum beat that develops inspires movement, getting straight to the point before passing quickly, effectively serving as a warm up for what is to come.
'Reception' was penned by Hatchwell while working shift work at a hotel and perhaps reinforces one of the reasons why the band may have taken so long to put out new music; the banality of work & the everyday struggle can get in the way of dreams, but are fundamentally essential to be able to pursue the things you want to do.
'Castaneda' opens and invokes memories of Explosions Of The Sky's Prince Avalanche soundtrack, so it came as no surprise to me that the Post-rock legends serve as an inspiration. As the track continues we're issued a Foals-esque riff that doesn't get old despite my frequent replays.
'Beverly Westerly', a gentle lo-fi acoustic number, is probably the outlier of the 5 tracks, but has its own charm all the same. It's not as grand as the other efforts exhibited throughout the EP, but the lazy guitar twinned with the distant piano still makes for enjoyable listening.
'Jive' has to be my favourite track of all though. The opening lyrics "Just checking in with you/Still shaking off those uni blues" sound so familiar to me, as if I've been listening to those words for years, but in reality, it's been less than a week. The guitars tick along, ultimately building until the song explodes into a soaring string section that was initially hinted at on the first track, but comes into full fruition here. Just as the dizzying heights are reached, they subside, and the while the closing lyrics announce us that "We're stuck in the same jive/Would you like to change my mind?", I'm perfectly happy to stay here for some time to come.
At times I'm reminded of Bombay Bicycle Club's most recent album (of which I was a staunch supporter), while at others I hear hints of Alt-J, but all together the mixture of sound and tones from their various inspirations (and a healthy dose of the always underrated xylophone) unite to create something new and exciting, and provides a perfect platform for the band to propel themselves forward from.
Given that the tracks were recorded in just 4 days in a bedroom in South London, the band have managed to deliver an EP that is ambitious, genial, and hopefully, lasting. After two and half years, I'm delighted to say that I wasn't disappointed, instead thrilled, and I can only hope that future installments come around a lot sooner. Either way, I'd be happy to wait though, but right now you don't have to, so make sure to listen above.