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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The states sleep alone tonight



There is very little better than precocious male singer-songwriter talent. See Bright Eyes, Rufus Wainwright, or Patrick Wolf for example. Don’t buy Dashboard Confessional records. The good news is that Abstractboy has been lucky enough to catch a very, very precociously talented duo at a recent Homocrime night at the Needles, W1. They go by the name of Sleeping States, and comprise of Markland Starkie and Craig Gell. Markland writes most of the lyrics and music and Craig plays the guitar (although Markland does that too) and creates all of the interesting and haunting feedback sounds which are significant to the overall sound of Sleeping States. The general sound is stripped and lo-fi, plucked clean guitar, naked and honest vocals with slight reverb effects, changes of keys, sometimes even discord…the guitar part almost feels like it is taking the listener on a car journey, but in a good way. It is hard not to be affected by the songs when the lyrics and vocals carry such a genuine sense of feeling.

Markland also has a nice prominent English accent. Abstractboy has come to realise over the years that being able to hear an accent in a singer’s voice makes the whole effect of a vocal seem more interesting, whether it is everyone’s favourite Russian chipmunks (t.A.T.u) or Roddy Woomble’s nice Edinburgh twangs. It’s really a bit of a shame when singers try to sound American or put on a fake cockney accent (Damon Albarn, we mean you) because an accent says so much about where you come from or where you have lived, which will inevitably have some impact upon the sound of your music and the experiences which inspire you to write.

Anyway, Sleeping States are very good and especially worth listening to (mp3s are on their website) if you appreciate low-key, beautifully haunting male singer-songwriter music. A huge Thank You is due to yorkpete for kindly allowing Abstractboy to use his photo.

posted by Robbie de Santos at 8/03/2004 03:19:00 pm

1 Comments:

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