Review: Sleepingdog – Polar Life

Sleepingdog are Dutch-born singer Chantal Acda and Adam Wiltzie; the latter better known for his work with Stars Of The Lid and Dead Texan. The couple’s talents complement each other perfectly since they are clearly subscribers to the “less is more” theory. ‘Polar Life’ is their second album of ambient folk.

The songs on the album are usually based around mininmalist electronica and subtle string arrangements, over which Acda lends her beautiful pure voice. Sometimes the music is dsarmingly simplistic. ‘Your Eyes’, for example, is largely based on a couple of piano keys supporting Acda’s elegant tones with only the swell of the strings towards the middle and end of the song threatening to complicate matters. The electronic-led material also works well with the title track recalling the work of ‘Múm’ amongst others. On one of Acda’s strongest performances, there’s emotion and melody by the bucketload in ‘Alleys’ yet my favourite song is actually a cover version; an interpretation of Sophia’s ‘If Only’  providing a moving finale.

My only criticisms would be the constant slow pace of the record and occasionally Acda’s voice seems so fragile and tender it appears over-calculated. Yet rather like the debut by fellow Gizeh Records artists Glissando, ‘Polar Life’ is a record full of stark beauty, with the duo guaranteed to pluck heartstrings aplenty with their most effective songs.

Web Sites:
Sleepingdog Official Site
Sleepingdog MySpace
Gizeh Records Label and Shop Site

Further Listening:
This Mortal Coil, Glissando, Múm, Low


1 Response to “Review: Sleepingdog – Polar Life”

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