SLEEPS IN OYSTER: We Kept The Memories Locked Away Like The Beetles Of Our Childhood, Or How To Appreciate Someone Who’s Always Around (Seed Records)


Posted on Nov 26th 2008 12:44 am

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Sleeps In Oyster: We Kept The Memories Locked Away Like The Beetles Of Our Childhood, Or How To Appreciat Someone Who's Always Around

We Kept The Memories Locked Away Like The Beetles Of Our Childhood, Or How To Appreciate Someone Who’s Always Around
Seed Records 2008
07 Tracks. 32mins17secs

Bridging the gap between folk and electronic, without veering anywhere near clichéd folktronica, Sleeps In Oysters are warm as a sunny summer’s day out in the fields and sweet as the smell of dust as its starts to rain.

Sounding like an unlikely cross between Múm, Pram, Efterklang and The Books, Sleeps In Oysters create miniature nursery rhymes made up of all sorts of sonic junk, painstakingly collected and assembled, then polished and cherished into wonderfully layered shimmering little vignettes. Spoken words land on vocal harmonies, glitches crawl beneath deconstructed beats, music boxes fly over ponds of found sounds to form exquisite backdrops to the band’s broken stories of insects, animals and, it appears, humans.

Sleeps In Oysters are Lisa Busby and John Harries, from London. Here, they apply their own vision of a world where anything and everything is possible. Their pop songs are acoustic and electronic in equal parts, but they do not suit any particular categorisation, least of all the folktronica tag that has been generously applied to the band’s work recently. Sharing a common aesthetic with the likes of CocoRosie or The Books, where songs are formed of apparently decaying components, their compositions are heart warming in their disarming simplicity and innocence, and fascinating by their flamboyant intricacy.

It is very easy to loose oneself in the meanders of the pair’s songs, so wide and rich are their soundscapes, and so chaotic are their song progressions. Nothing is straightforward here. Instead, Busby and Harries collect miniature sound forms and snippets of melodies, which they then stitch together to form organic little constructions. Songs like the twin set Moths’ Wings For Lisa/Moths’ Wings For John, which bookend this record, or the wonderful My Heart, A Hive For Bees and The Birds, The Bees, The Bells And Richard Brautigan, are all gracefully intricate and dreamy, with melodies that jump and pop like kids in a toyshop, orchestrations that appear on the brink of disintegrating at any moment, and Busby’s vocals in turn neat and clearly defined or twisted and child-like. The Tiny Lives Of Flies and No Time Like The Spiders Pt. 2 appear more straightforward at first, the latter would even pass for a proper pop song, but scratch the surface a little and the sweet lunacy that inhabit the rest of the songs becomes obvious once again.

We Kept The Memories… is a wonderfully poetic and delicate record, made by people who have a rare flair for the unusual. They do not seek it though, but process it naturally, which means that, far from sounding contrived or forced, the music of Sleeps In Oyster flows freely and sounds totally effortless.

The CD version, limited to 250, numbered copies, comes packaged in a handmade fabric sleeves, the disc itself, and the accompanying set of postcards, are wrapped in individual paper sleeves and are tied with string and sealed. Getting to the CD takes a little while, but the reward is well worth it!


Sleeps In Oysters (MySpace) | Seed Records

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