Very rarely does a band strike the ideal equilibrium between indie credibility and commercial viability, but it’s a sophisticated scale balance that Sleeping At Last has mastered across the entire decade thus far. With its third national release, "Storyboards," the critical charmers from Chicago are just as comfortable calling upon legendary arranger Van Dyke Parks as they are appearing on “Grey’s Anatomy” with the goal of relating to its astute audience topping any accolade amassed on either side of the dial. The melodies and content of the album are relatable and when listening to the music it often borderlines obscurity as said by front man Ryan O’Neal, before bassist/keyboardist Dan Perdue interjects. “All of our favorite bands are always forward thinking and ground breaking, but also accessible, which is the hardest balance to find. But being forward thinking doesn’t mean anything if no one wants to listen to you and it’s obviously not all that exciting to sound like everything else out there.”
Sleeping At Last have always been true to great songs and pushing even greater sonic boundaries. The album is actually quite different than the previous efforts. The 2 previous albums refer to the ambient huge tonal sound scape, as this one stays true to the more acoustic stripped down version of the band. Now only 2 members, you may think they are limited, but dont let them fool you. The ideas are well in place. “At first we just gave him a really simple demo of just the vocals and pianos and he just ran with it from there,” Perdue muses in a highly complimentary regard for Parks’ wizard-like prominence. “There are three violins, two violas, cellos, flutes, bass clarinets and just this overall rush of sound that are really one of a kind.”
The delicate vocals of O´Neal shoot across the album in the purist fashion. With more stripped down songs and less full band sounding material, the band focuses on the melodies and lush sounds of the vocal delivery. Song like “Porcelain,” “Slow & Steady,” “Timelapse,” “Green Screens” & “All This to Say” have memorable elements of this orchestral album available now. Sleeping At Last never dissappoints, as they always capture greatness throughout their records. I am still partial to the first album as one of my favorite albums but this album is a landmark for this band. Go pick this up at digital retailers and listen to the creativeness and beauty this band possesses.