album: Sleeping Lessons - Alien Boy
Sleeping Lessons is one of the most accurate musical depictions of loss, and the depression that accompanies it you’ll ever hear. It’s an entirely engaging personal journey from start to finish, with the band using beautifully noisy chaos to chronicle heartbreak, and the desire to resume some normal semblance of a life in the wake of starting again.
It begins with “Somewhere Without Me,” a glittering slice of reckoning that features clashing instrumentals, dueling in beautiful harmony to create a wall of subversive noise. It’s the initial inkling of the journey ahead, with a lingering question floating alongside the calamity: “We talk in my sleep all the time/Do you remember what you said to me last night?” As the album’s title would suggest, this is not the last reference made regarding sleeping, particularly when it comes to memories and desires that invade your brain space when they’re least unwelcome.
Our bed is often viewed as a sanctuary, a place of romance, peace, and dreams, and Alien Boy uses their varied noise rock to paint this moving portrait of a period spent there. On “Just Kids,” warbling, off-kilter strings waver towards romantic, and they soundtrack wistful memories of once laying together in bed, while “Depression” chronicles a period of mental illness that was spent under covers, and the inward promises made to get better. And finally on the closer, “Sleeping Lessons,” resolution is seemingly reached, with the line, “You know I’ve changed a lot since we last talked and I learned how to sleep again.”
The one place so often viewed as just ours becomes the listeners on this release, and Alien Boy gladly welcomes you through an ongoing period of growth. Love and life are complex, but gorgeous, and Sleeping Lessons perfectly encapsulates that.