Review of Sleeping States album In The Gardens Of The North.
Coming off the back of a recent UK tour as a five-piece, Sleeping States is the brainchild of former Kaito member Markland Starkie. Producing music under this guise since 2004, this is the act's third album and follows on from 2007's 'There The Open Spaces'.
Beautiful acoustic melodies are very much the order of the day for Sleeping States, with proceedings starting as they mean to go on in the shape of 'Rings Of Saturn'. A beautiful vocal and bass combination is sporadically joined by a range of instruments, until the wistful track is brought to a crescendo. The charm of the likes of 'The Next Village' and 'Gardens Of The South' show forfeiting flashy production for a more organic approach can be rewarding, which particularly suits Starkie's Gary Lightbody-like vocals on sweeping moments such as 'On The Beach At Aldeburgh' and the upbeat 'The Cartographer'. The jewel in the crown though is 'Showers In The Summer', which switches between brooding sections before opening up, very much capturing an audio likeness of the sun breaking through clouds as the song title suggests.