Thursday 22 August 2013

Snakadaktal - Sleep In The Water

With such a wealth of music stemming from Australia, including the likes of Flume, The Temper Trap and Empire of the Sun, indie/dream-pop outfit Snakadaktal fit in rather nicely.  Theirs is recognisably an Aussie sound, with great washes of synths, reverbed guitars and wistful vocals immediately evoking ocean views and rolling waves.

‘Sleep In The Water’ doesn’t so much transport you to the Australian coast as dunk you right in the water.  Yet the band didn’t set out to write a concept album, instead “it just came through – it must be something we’re all connected to the water and the ocean or something”.  The album gives the impression of being underwater with its subdued sounds, gently rolling melodies and liquid production – from the synth droplets of opener Fall Underneath, to the guitar harmonics and rippling arpeggios of penultimate track Union

This is an incredibly evocative record, its production ebbing and flowing with plenty of space to breathe within its sometimes sparse textures.  This, coupled with the boy-girl vocals, draws comparison to the xx, though there’s also something of Daughter in the melancholic sound that’s drenched in emotion.

‘Sleep In The Water’ is essentially split in two halves, divided by the interlude Beat 0033.  The first half features the more obvious pop songs, with an emphasis on the upbeat and spectral electronics – the syncopated beat of lead single Hung On Tight, the cavernous sub-bass of Deep, the band’s take on vocal house in Feel The Ocean Hold Me Under, and the sampled beats of Too Soon.  The second half takes a turn for the acoustic, with its focus on fragile guitars in The Sun I, II and III, plus the slow-burning Sleep and stunningly atmospheric Union.  Where the first few tracks have immediate appeal, the latter half of the album takes time to gradually drift over you.

The overall effect is as mesmeric and hypnotic as light refracting off the crests of crystal blue waters.  The band may have a funny name (apparently a made-up cross between a snake and a pterodactyl), but Snakadaktal have provided a deep, watery haven of dreamy music – bathe in its glory.


Gizzle's Choice:
* Fall Underneath
* Deep
* Feel The Ocean Hold Me Under

Listen: ‘Sleep In The Water’ is available now.