Carousel is one unique release that certainly doesn’t disappoint. This is one band that brings to the table effective songwriting via a highly subjective musical delivery. This meshed with a one in a million Alt-Folk-Rock sound and effective visuals and vocals make for a very effective combination no doubt. Stages of Sleep is just a breath away from Modern Folk or even Alternative Rock but skillfully manages to never cross into that realm. This makes for a very unique sounding record indeed that is mystifying end extremely fascinating. All songs are wonderfully simple but masterful in their overall arrangements. Music reminded me of a cross between Sinead O’ Connor, and some of the slower material from Florence and the Machine and Fanfarlo. This CD is quite entertaining overall with an unobtrusive somewhat detached vocal feel from Jason Ardiles. This band is a musical triple threat in my mind. They are world class songwriter and have what I would describe as an amazing amount of savant-esqe creativity. They have a young and likeable appeal (visually and vocally). Their lyrical content is a giant curveball and offers a very compelling and soul searcher perspective and spirit. No doubt many in San Francisco will like Stages of Sleep and their mysterious yet clairvoyant music. All songs do exactly what they are meant to do via well-crafted progressions and top tiered musicianship. The overall production value is superb with a crystal clear sound quality.
My favorite Track is “The Dining Dead”.
Criticism: Ardiles isn’t the most impressive vocalist I’ve ever come across. Though he manages to keep her head above water I don’t really see him as a very technical singer. If there’s was something special about Ardiles it would have to be his savant style writing virtuoso and brilliant perspective on life through his eyes.
Conclusion: Stages of Sleep have proven themselves with this latest release. These 7 are clearly an up and coming talent around Northern California and all band members backing Ardiles up are clearly capable musicians. I must admit Carousel sucked me in like a powerful drug and refused to let go long after the CD was over. This usually indicates something special about the artist or band in question. Thus deserving praise, recognition and musical fame at the international level. Need I say more?
Official URL – http://thestagesofsleep.com/bio
Review by Drew Blackwell
Edited by Michael Rand
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