Sleeper

The Modern Age

Gorksky

Mar 22, 2019 Issue #65 - Mitski and boygenius Bookmark and Share


It's difficult to envisage any other music scene in recent years that's stood the test of time less than Britpop. Rooted in nostalgia and an arrogant sense of its own importance, most of its key players' music already sounded dated long before the decade turned into a 21st century full of hope, adventure, and Coldplay.

Not that everything to come out of the scene made us feel despondent. The rise of several iconic female figureheads from a very male dominated sub-genre provided something of a platform for the next generation. One of those was Louise Wener, whose band Sleeper were more Britpop by association than anything else. The lineage of current acts clearly indebted to Wener and co. makes impressive reading, Wolf Alice and The Big Moon being two that immediately spring to mind.

So while The Modern Age, the band's first album in 22 years, doesn't exactly reinvent the wheel sonically, it still manages to sound undeniably current. While Wener's breathy vocals understandably take centre stage, her insatiable knack for telling a fascinating yarn as good as it ever were. The musical diversity on offer throughout its 10 tracks might come as a pleasant surprise to those only familiar with the band's singles.

The politically charged "Look at You Now" and "Paradise Waiting" set the scene, while "Car Into the Sea" and "Dig" dip their toes in more electronic pastures. Elsewhere, "Blue Like You" discusses the impact of social media while "More Than I Do" lays its creator's heart firmly on her sleeve.

As its title suggests, this is The Modern Age according to Sleeper, where no one looks back and all eyes are fixed firmly on the present. A welcome and dare I say it, pleasantly surprising return. (www.facebook.com/Sleeperofficially/) 

Author rating: 7/10

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