I remember coming across Art of Sleeping while lurking through YouTube. Songs like “Colourblind” and “Breathe” blew me away with their incredible sound, having a strong focus on their acoustic and alternative rock roots. I had a feeling that this band would go places but unfortunately their debut album, Shake Shiver felt like a step backwards for the them.
The direction of sound that the band took was a confusing route as the album is fairly clunky with no grounded approach. For musicians, a debut album is the starting point of their career and for that, I understand the struggle to grasp a sound that is both captivating and solid. But to have a catalogue of songs that doesn’t showcase any of the band’s strengths is a bit worrying.
Starting off on a positive note, this band has a lot of potential but what this album lacks is focus. Their first two tracks off the album, “Win Your Heart” and “Crazy” are the go-getters of the entire record with its crisp sound of indie music, flowing effortlessly in the beginning. There’s passionate storytelling in their lyrics and music, keeping things simple and candid. The instrumentation is powerful and makes a statement that focuses on their large alternative rock sound.
What get’s lost mid-way through the record is the discouragement of tracks that feel like they don’t belong. There’s not a lot of substance that flow through tracks such as “I Could Make You Happy” and “Bleeding Out” and as harsh as it sounds, both are of mediocre quality. Looking back at their past tracks, it’s hard to shake off the atmospheric sound they created for themselves initially.
It’s hard to let go of the amazing potential this band had that they could’ve taken advantage of in this debut album. It’s clear that they experimented a lot but it wasn’t enough to maintain interest in the record. I guess it just depends on the taste of listeners but hearing songs that don’t intrigue can pretty much demotivate you from listening to the entire record. It’s unfortunate how a band can go from something so stellar to a sound that is stagnant with no purpose.
Maybe I placed such high expectations on Shake Shiver but apart from that, I still believe Art of Sleeping have every potential to redeem themselves again.
Review Score: 5.0 out of 10
Shake Shiver is available now…