So, how do the new releases stack up with Sleep ∞ Over's previous work? I'll start with the new Sleep ∞ Over single titled Casual Diamond. It opens with a familiar crunch of the drum machine, and the nearly monolithic picks of an electric guitar.The track does end up dissolving into lighter guitar tones and Franciotti's soothing vocal hook. This isn't exactly the dream pop beauty found on the Outer Limits single; the murky, uneasiness found on the group's older tracks has been revived. Yet, there is more energy here previously missing from older tracks, and the song resonates with a certain urgency instead of a droning whirling synth soundscape. The sound is still lo-fi as ever... it's Franciotti's voice and her choice in the overall instrumental texture that bring quite a different take on the Sleep ∞ Over sound. It's a promising track, and I am looking forward to seeing what she can do on a full-length release later this year.
I was quite excited to hear the sound of Boy Friend's self-titled EP. To my delight, the sound is straight from the Outer Limits single: warm synths, heavenly vocals, a nice cushioned, slightly melancholic, atmosphere. The only contrast I feel worth mentioning is the frail drum sound; while I prefer the thick drum beats in the forefront on the Outer Limits single, the drop in prominence only brings more attention to the other angelic layers of sound. The EP is only four tracks, and like any dream pop release, you basically know what you are gonna get by the end of the first song. Not the most perplexing or challenging music, but it does have a consistent sound. I'm looking forward to their full-length, too.
2011 in music is just looking more and more awesome as I consider all the releases on their way. That, and the few surprises that will hopefully be surfacing over the following months. I'm interested to see where these upcoming Sleep ∞ Over and Boy Friend albums will rank on my year-end favorites. For those interested, here's Casual Diamond and D'Arrest (first track on Boy Friend's EP):