Live Act

Art of Sleeping

“Boney fingers of expectation and doubt gripped my skin and pulled me under. I stayed there for days holding on to worry that wanted me to drown. Love swam down to meet me there. I told her I was a failure. She said she loved me anyway. I was not alone.” The heroine of “Shake Shiver” trembles and dances as she changes shape throughout the debut album from Brisbane-based five-piece Art of Sleeping. She’s a lover, a savior, a friend – she twists, turns and quivers – and then she’s a heartbreaker, a puzzle, even a witch doctor in the vivid and mysterious world the band has created for her amidst the tangled sheets, poetic lyrics and soaring instrumentals. Listeners could be mistaken that the band had locked themselves away with nothing but guitars and some painful memories since their 2013 EP “Like A Thief” to write their first album. But instead the former school friends comprising of Caleb Hodges, drummer Jean-Paul Malengret, keyboard player Jarryd Shuker, guitarist Patrick Silver and bassist Francoise Malengret, experimented, travelled, tried new instruments, honed their craft and live shows before songwriter and singer Caleb sat down at his kitchen table to piece together the story Art of Sleeping had always wanted to tell. I clamored into the wilderness. I clawed at shadow and elusive thoughts. I tried to trap them in an inky cage. The curves and loops looked up from the paper and screamed at me in a flawed and furious rage. I felt bad because I knew they would never be as beautiful as the thought they were before. Too complex and delicate to be bound by
language or imprisoned on a page. As the title concedes, “Shake Shiver” is an album of juxtapositions, from hushed folk to raw rock n’ roll; there are few corners the arrangements don’t explore. Recorded in the heat of a Queensland summer, the album took shape at Airlock Studios and mixed by Swedish maestro Lasse Marten (Lykke Li, Sarah Blasko, Franz Ferdinand, Peter, Bjorn and John). Looking for a innovative way to capture their expansive sound that entrances audiences so completely at their live shows the band enlisted the help of Big Scary’s Tom Iansek and their long-term collaborator Yanto Browning for production. With an array of treated sounds, the album combines varied textures in ways that are ambitious and unusual; even Caleb’s voice is used as an instrument full of intuitive swells and fades, from heartbroken tenor to condemning baritone; but often the complexities are subtle enough to miss on first glance. He coaxed out finesse from within our clumsy noise. He offered perspective when we were blind and focus from distraction. We sailed for 11 days. The cool water there was calm and beautiful. Shivery reflections and delicate blue layers. Some of us liked it there and wanted to stay.