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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Sleepy Tea

The Place Where We Lay

Review by Larry Toering

This band from Brisbane, Australia, is fresh off an opening spot on a sold out tour. These five tracks on their debut EP alone really show how they can do such a thing so fast. There is no snoozing or losing about this band, really. In fact, some of it is very fast and uplifting rock, as well as being essentially folk and electronica influenced. It all boils down to a very elegant sort of pop that is very laid back and casual in all the right places. This is a very cleverly arranged set of tunes that tend to weigh perfectly between folk and electronica to define its underlying pop sense.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Make Believe
This is one of two major highlights for me without a doubt, being one of the faster numbers. I find this one of the easier tracks to get into. The entire track is catchy with a narrative vocal, somewhere between traditional and modern folk singers. It’s backed with more musicality than usually found in either.
Avian Aviation
The tempo here doesn't pick up for several minutes, and then it turns almost indie-gothic sounding before easing back down. This is a very abstract tune that tends to grow wings in the mid-section. There is more good stuff going on here indeed, and it gets away from the James Blunt vocal tone that was creeping into the previous track.
World's End
This harks back to an 80s romantic vibe, which can actually be detected already, but it just goes the distance. I would say it sounds somewhere between REM and bands that held their influence through the 90s. But there are no industrial factors here. This is much more refined, almost pretty.
Safer
This is easily the other stand out track standing evenly with the opener. The whole EP peaks right here, but the track itself is dominated by a more complex arrangement and lyrical depth. Even though I can't put my finger on what it is, the toes do their own tapping as it takes on a life unlike the surrounding cuts.
Ghosts
As the disc comes to an end, it becomes more evident that a Simon & Garfunkel element is the overall strongest influence, but it doesn't connect until this track.
 
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