ON THE COVER :: PHOTO GALLERY + MP3 DOWNLOAD
Release Date: 06.24.08
Alex Kane and Ben Cooper have been quietly making mind-blowing atmospheric pop music as Electric President since 2006. These Floridians have created one of the most fascinating listens of the summer, combining live instrumentation and electronic elements into their haunting indie masterpieces. If Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello had a series of nightmares while recording tunes for The Postal Service, it might sound a bit like Sleep Well.
Cooper and Kane recorded their sophomore effort in a toolshed and in a bedroom studio, which perhaps adds to the interesting sounds they created throughout this disc. While their music is very accessible, there is quite a bit going on sonically that adds layers of depth to each track. The songs focus on themes of sleep on this self-described "middle of the night" record. While some tracks could help mellow you out until a sound sleep, the lyrics about boogiemen under your floorboards could easily spark nightmares.
Sleep Well begins with "Monsters," a fragile track that washes your eardrums in waves of reverb-soaked guitars and a combination of live drums and electronic beats. Songs such as this require much more than a simple passive listen, as you'll miss the slight nuances that make this quite mesmerizing. They add just enough bits of production brilliance to keep your attention from start to finish, coming across like a more mellowed out version of Grandaddy.
"Bright Mouths" contains a beat that brings Pinback to mind, but with intense loud/soft passages that can inspire chills to soar down your spine. The fog is lifted on the upbeat "Ether," with muffled vocals pushed along by staccato guitar bits, plenty of synths and an electronic beat. The vocals remain pushed into the background, almost as if they're intended to contain hidden messages that will reappear in your dreams.
A personal favorite on Sleep Well comes towards the end of the record on a track titled "All The Bones." Falsetto vocals and the general pulse of the song does bring Radiohead to mind just a bit, perhaps if meshed together with The Notwist. The bassline is hypnotic, driving the track along with live percussion and slight dashes of electronic blips and effects pedals to add texture to this outstanding bit of greatness.
There is a reason that we picked Electric President to join our list of Tripwire favorites to be feature in our ongoing On The Cover series. Sleep Well is a fascinating album, bringing together elements of pop accessibility and sonic experimentation to make for a thrilling listen. Listen with caution at night, as the boogieman could be waiting as you drift off into a deep slumber.