In 2009, Deakin of Animal Collective raised over $26,000 on Kickstarter to fund a festival performance, a donation to charity, and his debut solo album. Nearly seven years later, Sleep Cycle will be released on Friday April 8. To prove it, Deakin's put out a video for the album's “Just Am.” The track is a gorgeous carnival swamp of lush, layered tones and samples. Fitting then, that the video's protagonist is wearing a snorkel as he wanders around the color negative dreamscape of director Lawrence Simonitsch.
The journey to Sleep Cycle has been long and trying for both Deakin (real name Josh Dibb) and his Kickstarter backers. After the project had been funded for three years with little update on its progress, rumours began to spread that Dibb had used the money for travel expenses instead of the promised project. He refuted those suggestions in an interview with Pitchfork, saying that all of the raised money went to TEMEDT, a Mali anti-slavery organization, and that his trip to the festival and the creation of Sleep Cycle. As for the album, he said “It's just been a much slower process to do things on my own than with the band.” A recent press release cites “personal and professional issues” as reasons for the delay, and that “a small portion” of the Kickstarter fund was used “to help with a portion of shipping and manufacturing costs.”
In a Kickstarter update shared on April 1, Dibb wrote that Kickstarter rewards, including art books, posters, and a Sleep Cycle cassette (“the only planned physical release,” according to a statement) would soon reach the project's backers. “Thanks for sticking with me,” it reads.