Floating is Sleep Party People‘s third effort and is nothing short of an absolute joy to the eardrums. Following on from 2012’s We Were Drifting On A Sad Song, this latest effort sees Brian Batz’s sonic musical project soar once more.
Floating is the perfect title for this album. Batz has said in interviews that its name is to do with the fact that he felt he floated through the process of making it, and did not think everything out too much; it was very much an organic process. But, when you listen to this collection of sonic-driven tracks, it does feel as the very music within is floating out of the speakers. From the very opening, with Change In Time, the slow, shoegaze feel of the album spreads its wings and sets the tone of what is to come, with the repetitive little riffs and Batz soft vocals having a hypnotic, almost hallucinogenic effect, as Batz takes your hand and leads you into the depths of the music.
Lead single Floating Blood Of Mine continues with this streak of hallucinogenic psychedelic as its packed to the rafters with bending guitar riffs and rising synths. It’s a summery track, driven by light and light textures. It’s more stripped back and creates a beautiful atmosphere of contentment. One of the aims of this album was to have less layers, as it was agreed that each song would not have any more that 24 tracks on it, which has meant that the tracks have a much more melodically-focused feel to them than Sleep Party People have produced in the past.
Yet, where this album really succeeds is in its range and variety. Batz successfully manages to bend their signature sound to have different effects, as the album darkens with A Stranger Among Us, that slowly fades in and Batz vocals take on a more haunting depth. This sets the listener up for the In Another World, that opens with a deranged, disjointed, gypsy-like guitar, as Batz creeps in saying “hush little baby”, creating a spine-tinglingly creepy demented electro lullaby. Stunning, spooky and dangerously atmospheric, it’s like a hallucinogenic trip gone wrong.
This is a streak that continues and develops through the thundering electronic stomper that is Death Is The Future. It continues with that dark, morbid, haunted house thing, but becomes bigger and deeper in what it explores. The deep, pounding bass is in stark contrast to the opening tracks on the album, and shows just how the album takes you on a journey, a trip, through Batz boundless imagination.
It feels like an album that has three separate parts. A light beginning, a darker middle, and a floating finale, as the final third of the album begins to take the listener out of the haunted house and back into the light, as I See The Sun, Harold begins this last journey that is brought together by the bewitchingly beautiful Only A Shadow, that shimmers in its simplicity. It is beautiful in every sense of the word, with its distorted vocals, and high-pitched sounds played against a backdrop of simple piano chords.
Scattered Glass brings this stunning collection together to its rightful conclusion, climaxing into a psychedelic eruption of sound of supersonic proportions. It makes the listener feel as though they have ended up where they started, as it returns to that same floating mood that opened the album. This is a cleverly crafted, thoroughly thought-out collection of songs that shimmers at every opportunity.