So, the Sleeperman singles production line has released the second of their ‘new single every month’ releases and I have the pleasure of reviewing it.
This time the East Yorkshire quartet seem to have taken a chill pill with new track ‘You Would Not Be Seen Dead In A Shirt Like That’ and ‘B’ side ‘Black Ice’.
The CD single comes in the usual faux 45rpm vinyl 7″ packaging which is becoming a really nice touch but, much as I’m a sucker for great packaging and album covers, it’s the music that is ‘inside’ that counts!
As is becoming patently obvious with Sleeperman it’s not just the well crafted music that counts, it is also the clever, pithy and pertinent lyrics that make their songs stand out and the wistful, nostalgic grace of ‘You Would Not Be Seen Dead In A Shirt Like That’ is no exception. John Hilton’s wonderfully laconic and laid back vocal delivery once again delivers wry observations that make you smile, his occasionally sardonic voice is a perfect fit for the roots and alt-country inspired guitar playing of Neil Scott and makes the song a wonderfully laid back three minutes of near empathetic perfection.
“The saddest thing I ever saw was an old man alone in the light from a corner shop, his coat was too big, he was crying into his cupped hands…”
The ‘B’ side ‘Black Ice’ is a bit of a departure for the band and takes a different musical direction to what they delivered before. The repetitive, urgent and yet low key guitar intro give a feeling of hesitancy and John’s vocal has a pleading tone. It’s another intelligent three minutes that grabs your attention and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Pared back and minimalist, it almost ghosts across your senses and leaves you in a state of calm bewilderment.
They’re a clever lot Sleeperman and what they are doing is taking us back to the great era of music when the anticipation of newly released singles was almost too much to bear. Not only that, they are delivering on that anticipation big style, this is music for the music lover, music to cherish and not the usual throw away rubbish that seems to assault the charts nowadays. I take my hat off to them and long may it continue!
Released 4th February 2018