To begin with, we hadn’t even got enough of ‘ROOH’. It was an angelic beast of an album brimming with the purest of emotions. It saw one of the most celebrated rock acts of the country – Aswekeepsearching take risk and explore genre contradicting realms. But as explorers, they were bound to find themselves eventually making it one of the best things, I have had the pleasure of enjoying last year.
They chose not to be the artists to follow safe tried and tested formulas. From constantly incorporating new influences into their music, to coming up with their own clothing line, pushing the envelope is something they have been doing time and time again. It would have been perfectly ok for the band to not even think about a new album, let alone completing it within half a year since their last. But here we are. Awaiting in anticipation of their latest album, aptly called ‘Sleep’.
Last October, while touring, the band discussed about creating music which could help to calm down the distressed and allow the listener to get lost in their own parallel universe. This idea gave birth to Sleep, an album created completely out of calming soundscapes. Minimalistic in nature, we see the band deeply explore the ingredients which have always been integral parts of their recipe – ambience and atmosphere.
We live in chaotic times where peace of mind is hard to come by. Distress and worry have occupied most of our brains, making us slaves to depression. We try and seek solace in a lot of things. The worst is when we can’t even do that one thing which allows us to shut off from reality – sleep. This album is a genuine attempt by the band to help those in need. The music helps all the astray emotions settle down and lets you simply float away into the world you choose to create.
It is obvious that Sleep is in no way similar to anything the band has ever created. Opening tracks “Glued” and “11 Degrees” are layers of subtle electronic centered sounds to start the process of peace induction. It’1s time to dim those lights, lie down and let it go. You would be soon greeted by an acoustic driven “Dreams are real”. This is also the only track with vocals and closest to something they are known for. Uddipan’s voice sings a lullaby in the most beautiful way possible. The sounds start getting spacey with “Sleep now” as sine waves of ambience build and crash in the background.
Journey has begun into the deep space of your thoughts. The experience is cathartic to say the least. Transcendence follows with “How am I supposed to know” to the very serene and nostalgia inducing “Let us Try”. Waves of sounds entwine as “Maybe there” and “Sleep again” weave solace over your mind. You are fast asleep now. Rest.
The album may be beautiful beyond words, but truth is not everyone will get it. There are no blaring drums or walls of sound, no enthusiastic vocals or earth-shattering bass riffs. It is purely atmospheric and mind driven music. For the ones expecting this to be a “signature” Aswekeepsearching record, you are going to be surprised to say the least. But for the ones who do get this, it will be held on as a prized possession. With varied experimentation’s and use of homegrown classic instruments and samples, it is bound to be recognized as a solid record even in the ambient music space.
Sleep by Aswekeepsearching is an unexpected, yet astounding piece of music. It is a journey deep into the depths of our minds in search of tranquility.