by Kieran Cannon
After a few months spent honing their songcrafting abilities as well as playing their first gig at Bloc+ last August, Sleephaven are now giving their tunes the studio treatment. The Glaswegian math rock trio, formerly known as Hummingbird, released their debut single Demons in mid-February. Check it out below.
For the uninitiated – math rock prioritises rhythm over traditional rock melodies. As such, expect to hear lots of complex drumming and wacky time signatures. 4/4? No-no! If this sounds like your cup of tea, you’ll be right in your element here. If not, keep reading anyway because you’re bound to find something to enjoy.
Demons eschews the conventional verse-chorus structure, instead hinting at prog-rock roots by splitting into three distinct parts. Flying straight out the traps, the introductory section is anxious and uptight with jittery, reverb-soaked guitar echoing over pulsating drums and circular basslines. The middle section, however, is the real backbone of this track. All the tension built up during the first 30 seconds is suddenly released, allowing some space to breathe before accelerating towards a thrilling crescendo. Things then begin to wind down, giving way to eerie synths and ending on an almost melancholic note.
This is the ultimate statement of intent from the three-piece indie group, demonstrating the talent and songwriting merits of Shaun, Russell and Osian without ever descending into overindulgence – a tough balance to maintain on a purely instrumental track. Fans of mainstream acts like Foals looking for something a bit more left-field will feel right at home, particularly if you enjoyed the Antidotes era. Plenty of tantalising ideas are explored on this track and by all indications Sleephaven are just getting started.
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