My People Sleeping recently emerged from a studio in the crumbling area of Montreal called Griffintown with still-warm reels of magnetic tape tucked under their arms. In the 19th century, Griffintown was a residential neighborhood occupied by Irish settlers; now, it’s mostly factories—operational or otherwise—with sporadically-placed horse stables that you wistfully catch on your nose when the wind blows right. Apparently, it’s also haunted by a number of ghosts from the neighborhood’s pre-war glory days, including a decapitated prostitute who returns year after year, searching for her head.
It wouldn’t be far fetched to guess that this neighborhood, with its decrepitude, headless ghosts, and decaying residual whimsy continues to haunt those reels of tape, and will gleefully break free through the iPod headphones of the scores of folks that are likely to be all over My People Sleeping’s new record, called Feye. The slow, sad, psych of My People Sleeping has been haunting my brain since I heard their new album (coming out this fall). What makes it so great is that it’s as jubilant as it is dreary, as shiny as it is dark, as anthemic as it is crumbling.
Some notes on the songs of My People Sleeping. The predominantly-slow-tempo simple heart-and-soul chord progressions are tangled in mostly-sparse and fantastical arrangements of electric guitar, organ, piano, synthesizer, drums, and lots of less-recognizable sounds. Themes of survival and restlessness, feelings of longing and joy, are communicated through expressionistic lyrics. In the swirl of reverb, the voices of James Irwin, Ruby Attwood, and Katherine Peacock (the latter of which has since left the group) weave about one another in whispers and shouts that are heartfelt, preposterous, and completely convincing.
Ruby’s proclamation, that upon entering a cave she “fucked all the stalagmites and had their babies,” makes melancholic sense within the context of the song. Ultimately, their songs suck you into a vortex of gloom and gleeful absurdity, and then leave your brain with the indelible mark of an infectious pop song. And you want more. Their new record, Feye, was produced in Griffintown, Montreal, by David Bryant of Godspeed You! Black Emperor. You’re really going to want to check it out when it’s released.
MySpace – My People Sleeping
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