News Discography Press Contact & Links



Winter Crickets - (2018)

Fifth album time for Norway’s Sleepyard, and once again, the duo of Oliver and Svein Kersbergen (plus a clutch of special guests) have fashioned a beautifully mellow, but never less than thrilling series of soundscapes

Hauntingly poised somewhere between an early Eno ambient album (“Big Picture”) and the first This Mortal Coil LP, but venturing further afield when the mood is right, Winter Crickets is effectively instrumental even when vocals do stray into earshot, and essentially wordless even when lyrics are deployed.

Such is the momentum built up around the instrumentation, even when things lurch into the deliberately cheesy keys and tempos of “(Always) In the Back of my Mind,” a sixties sunshine pop classic masquerading as a fifties movie house intermission theme. Or the discordant radio dialing that leads into the ultra-bounce “Angels Make Perfect” – teen dream psychedelia that even Bacharach would bat his eyelashes to.

Or the brief and almost-clattering “Silent Running,” a perky prelude to what is both the most atypical track here, and one of the undisputed highlights, “Blue Barracuda.” Here lyrics and voice are equally unmistakable, as Judy Dyble returns from Sleepyard’s past to add siren singing to a piece that feels as though it were recorded underwater, and now you’re hearing it from the same vantage point.

So many moods, so many feelings, but each one is so tightly woven together that the fourteen tracks blend into one single experience, across an album that feels a lot shorter than it actually is, but which ought to be a lot longer, too.