Love Ain't Enough
Even the Darkness Has Arms
Come in the Water
How the Heroine Dies
Bring Me Your Love
The Bear at the Window
Please Let Me Let it Go
‘Sleeping Operator’ represents an immense creative output. The group, featuring brothers Brad on guitar/vocals and Andrew on drums, classical harpist Sarah Pagé, and pianist/bassist Andrès Vial, recorded 40 tracks in the process of making this record. The 13 songs on ‘Sleeping Operator’ are meditative and explosive, exploring the far reaches of folk laced with West African influences, hypnotic modernist pulsing and beyond. While the record extends into cinematic and other-worldly territories, it maintains a campfire-like intimacy throughout.
The album was produced by The Barr Brothers and recorded and mixed by Ryan Freeland (Bonnie Raitt, Aimee Mann, Ray Lamontagne) in Montreal and Los Angeles. The band was joined by local neighborhood guests from Arcade Fire (Richard Reed Parry), Patrick Watson’s band, The Luyas, Bassekou Kouyate’s band and Little Scream along the way. Known for their unique orchestrations, the band used a plethora of instruments to embellish this album including a variety of horns, marimba, ngoni (West African stringed instrument), an instrument made by a fan called a cardboardium, hammered dulcimer, and pedal steel to make a sound that is sui generis.
Brothers Brad and Andrew Barr, harpist Sarah Page, and multi-instrumentalist Andres Vial have crafted a transcendental album that nosedives right into your dreams. Xylophone notes patter through the opening track into “Love Ain’t Enough”, a soaring welcome that uses a three-note progression like a back-and-forth rallying call.
The album is like an oversized knit sweater during the month of October: it’s cozy, comfortable, and exactly what you need.
An abundance of unlikely fusions, like pairing banjo and harp or blues rocking with the West African stringed ngoni, nearly slipped Sleeping Operator from their tight grasp. Even the album’s abandoned conceit – an accompaniment to the 1982 Jim Henson movie The Dark Crystal – proved unrealistically ambitious.
Après un premier album sorti en 2011, les Barr Brothers présentent leur deuxième effort, Sleeping Operator, un disque de blues-folk aux influences sud-africaines.
A record that prefers to build up intensity before letting it ebb away, doling out flashes of propulsive rhythm in snatches and grasps rather than in the four-on-the-floor anthemic grooves favoured by so many bands these days, Sleeping Operator feels out of time, apart, distinct.
One day the Eagles will wake up in hell and wish they had done it like The Barr Brothers.
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