Dusted Reviews

Sleep ∞ Over - Forever

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: Sleep ∞ Over

Album: Forever

Label: Hippos in Tanks

Review date: Nov. 2, 2011

Bedroom synth-pop records aren’t exactly hen’s teeth these days. In the case of Sleep ∞ Over, what began as a lo-fi dream-pop trio effectively returned to the bedroom from the bandspace after two original members left last year. Austin’s Stefanie Franciotti now records on her own, still using the Sleep ∞ Over moniker. Her obsession with Twin Peaks, tarot cards, and ghostly, distorted nods to Cocteau Twins lace the songwriting on her debut, Forever. The album is incredibly escapist, emphasizing a textural production technique that’s larger than life when paired with hazy sci-fi allusions. Aesthetically inventive though it may not be, it’s distinguished enough to stand out from pack.

What’s notable first is the intimacy of Franciotti’s bedroom recording. You can hear it in her voice, which is far from remarkable, but works quite well among the various effect accouterments. This ardor is often mashed up with a distancing derived from recording techniques — tape saturation, reverb and ambient washes color almost every song. Her lyrics are often unintelligible, too, making most of Forever’s 36 minutes feel like a semi-conscious blur of suburban psychedelia.

Song titles like "Flying Saucers Are Real" point to a childhood that was likely chock-full of X-Files re-runs. The track itself moves with a slow, Klonopin-doped crawl, through hazy synth treatments and distorted drum machine loops. And yet it retains enough pop-sensibility to reward the investment, and like the album’s standout “Casual Diamond,” it’s incredibly pretty under all of that murkiness. However, the instrumental interlude passages wouldn’t work too well if they popped up via Shuffle, but sound just fine in context — "Crying Game"’s tense synth drones and B-movie sound effects reinforce Forever’s underlying otherworldly conceit.

The immediate embrace of anything analogue-warped by certain corners of the Internet shouldn’t detract from Forever, as it’s quite an engaging listen when the right (nocturnal) mood strikes. My biggest complaint is that it can feel incredibly drowsy and quite a bit longer that it actually is (which, to some, is perhaps an achievement). The meticulous crafting and personal touches in these songs cannot be denied, though. If anything, they hint that Franciotti might be just as compelling on her own, if not more so.

By Jon Dempsey

Read More

View all articles by Jon Dempsey

Find out more about Hippos in Tanks

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.