Sleepwalkers - Greenwood Shade
Sleepwalkers have outdone themselves with a new full length album called Greenwood Shade. The falsetto Panda Bear vocals, the shimmering guitar licks, and the light touch of the songs remind the listener of Paul McCartney.
Greenwood Shade moves as a feel-good summer hazer replete with mature topics (“Cocaine,” “Hatchet”). The track “Cheers” starts off the album, featuring multi-part vocal harmonies as tight as the BeeGees (think: “Every Christian Lion-Hearted Man Will Show You,” which, if you’re not familiar, will blow your mind) and the swagger of Elton John. Psychedelic elements permeate the album, e.g., “Breaking My Heart” and its instrumental keyboard-led tangents. Listen to “Images” and tell me it doesn’t remind you of the 80s synth pop of Lionel Ritchie’s “All Night Long.”
The aforementioned “Hatchet” involves some tribal funkiness, creating some pretty righteous jams. It’s also my fave. Featuring the York brothers (Austin York, Michael York) from Duchess of York and The Rising Sons*, the band also features engineer Alex DeJong of White Star Sound in Louisa (Fight Cloud, etc.). Hold onto your butts.
Check Sleepwalkers out TOMORROW, 9/5 @ Fall Line Fest at The Camel with Black Girls (hometown hep heroes), Woolens (Roanoke’s “Bright Eyes”), My Darling Fury (RVA symphonic stunners), and Ryley Walker (Chicago folk on Tompkins Square Records).
*I was in my early 20s when the high-school aged York Bros made waves in The Rising Sons. Everyone said they were going places, which may have led to its eventual implosion. Still, you better keep these fellas in your periphery if not obsession. Their mature grasp on subtleties as well as the power to build great rocking moments propel them up and on.
photo by Dave Parrish Photography