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'The Big Sleep' guides listeners through an interesting auditory dream.

Music Review: The Society Islands – ‘The Big Sleep’

The solo project of a Germany-based singer and multi-instrumentalist, Boris Rogowski, The Big Sleep is a dreamy sounding neo-folk, pop, and indie rock fusion marked by mid-song stylistic shifts. Rogowski is the main contributor here (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboard, woodwinds, percussions, drums), supported by Moishe Lichtfuss on saxophone, Benedikt Filleboeck on trumpet, and Isabelle Holder and Eva Bardo on vocals.

Released digitally at the end of September, The Big Sleep is described by its creator as a meditation on impossibilities, which explains the fusion The Society Islands600of different sounds and styles in the course oftentimes of a single track. From the opening notes of “Square 1” to the closing notes of “…and Silly Things”, The Big Sleep feels like the perfect soundtrack to a dream that shifts in quality and consistency. The opening track introduces us to this world, using a mix of sounds from different genreselectronic keyboards, guitars, and drums. The dream becomes introspective and calm in “From My Mouth Into Yours”, only to turn into a guitar- and drum-driven 1950s party in “In the Water”. The dream is dialed down a notch in “Run for My Money” which sounds like a soft rock cut. And while the dial remains on low in “Cheap Life”, its flavor turns to electronica-flavoured alternative rock.

The running time (11 minutes) of the following track, “Blood Tide”, makes it seem like a dream within a dream. The opening notes hint at Middle Eastern flavored guitar driven soft rock. Halfway through the initially mellow track, the guitars and the drums kick in, tossing the track straight into rock territory, although the background drums retain some of the Middle Eastern flavor. The last couple two minutes or so of the track fade into a violin heavy guitar driven acoustic section.

On the other side of this “dream within a dream” lies five more songs, starting off with the mellow, acoustic guitar driven “Gone”. In “Sunday” the dial is turned back up, where it stays for pretty much the rest of the album. The Big Sleep finished with its most lighthearted track, the cheerful “…and Silly Thing”, concluding an auditory experience that surprises without making the listener too uncomfortable.

The album can be streamed on SoundCloud. More information is available on the band’s official website and
Facebook page.

Pictures provided by Independent Music Promotions.

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