Sleepthief: Pop/ Electronic Music with Dash of Epic-ness!


I’ve seen previous entries are filled with metal and rock bands, and I think it’s time for me to feature a pop/electronic project (I refuse to use the term one man band; sounds so metal to me); which is Sleepthief. Honestly, I have never heard the name before, and I’m not a pop/electronic music fan. So Sleepthief is kinda bizarre to me. But I’m going to write about Sleepthief anyway.

The frontman of Sleepthief, Justin Elswick
The mainman behind this wonderful music unit is Justin Elswick. An attorney by profession (geez, talking about being multi talented! – ed), Elswick formed Sleepthief out of his passion for electronic and pop music. Right, pop music. Some of you might go on and say ‘this might be the another lame boring American trendy pop shits‘. But before that, let me stop you. Yes, Sleepthief plays pop/electronic. But no, they.. I mean he (Sleepthief is a solo effort) does not sound like Britney Spears, or Mariah Carey, or even Justin Bibier! All I could tell about how Sleepthief’s sound is; pop music with a touch of New Age essence, and multiple singers, majority of them are female! Hah take that Timbaland! Multiple female singers! Will you fucking believe that? Well, I’m going to explain that later.

So far Sleepthief have 2 albums under its belt; namely Dawnseeker and the latest, Labyrinthine Heart which was released last year. To date, I’ve only listened to Labyrinthine Heart, and I fell in love with Justin Elswick’s work. Sleepthief’s works have often been compared to other artistes such as Delerium (from Canada) and many more to which I’m not familiar with. Told ya I’m a noob lol! Anyway, from a personal opinion, Sleepthief is pretty much like Delerium (also an electronic project which Elswick drew his influence from).

Labyrinthine Heart full length 2009
What makes Sleepthief so appealing to me? Well dear readers, Justin Elswick himself does not sing, instead he hired a group of female singers to sing for him! Lucky bastard, and these singers did so well, I’m impressed. No no not the type with crappy voice like Amy Winehouse nor croaky singing like Miley Cyrus! I would rather say these singers possess a very good quality, some even to the point of angelic and soothing 🙂 The singers for Labyrinthine Heart are:

Joanna Stevens
Coury Palermo (this is the only male singer for LH)
Kirsty Hawkshaw
Jody Quine
Zoe Johnston
Kristy Thirsk
Caroline Lavelle
Roberta Carter Harrison

Reason Why – feat Coury Palermo & Zoe Johnston music video

So let’s take a look the tracklists of Labyrinthine Heart:

Here I Confess – feat Joanna Stevens
World Gone Crazy – feat Coury Palermo
Skimming Stones – feat Kirsty Hawkshaw
Labyrinthine Heart – feat Jody Quine
A Kind of Magic – feat Zoe Johnston
A Cut From the Fight – feat Kristy Thirsk
A Rainy World – feat Caroline Lavelle
Ariadne (The Dividing Sea) – feat Joanna Stevens
Reason Why – feat Coury Palermo & Zoe Johnston
Fire King – feat Jody Quine
Reversals – feat Kristy Thirsk
There’s Something Going OnRoberta Carter Harrison

I must say all the tracks are good and each of the singers bring out different vibes. My personal picks will be Here I Confess, World Gone Crazy, Skimming Stones, Labyrinthine Heart, Reason Why and Reversals. Pick Here I Confess for example, Joanna Stevens really did a wonderful vocal works, she layered 2 or 3 vocals and together with like orchestra music (I think it’s from keyboard patch), it really gives a very epic and sweet feel to the song. And Reversals by Kristy Thirsk, is a very ‘I-wanna-be-with-you’ kuntum type of song but again, with wonderful poppy voice, oh fuck hahah. Every now and then hints of new age music can be felt somewhere in the album. And like a typical pop album, production is crystal clear, no doubt in that.

World Gone Crazy – feat Coury Palermo music video

These singers,are talented as fuck, but I’m wondering why are they not popular. I’m not really familiar with pop music, first of all. And then probably they are known only in their respective countries. Nonetheless, they did a good job. Be sure to check these singers’ works and albums (I already listened to Kristy Thirsk’s Souvenir,not bad!). And true enough, Sleepthief sounds a bit like Delerium (some of singers also appeared in Delerium works), but the similarity are not really astounding. So far this is only pop (can I consider Sleepthief as pop?) album that I can tolerate. However, I have yet listen to Sleepthief’s debut The Dawnseeker (but Contramen did), but from what I learnt, it wasn’t good as Labyrinthine Heart. Be sure to check Sleepthief music videos as well!

Skimming Stones – feat Kirsty Hawkshaw music video (this version is off from Sirenes: The Beauty of Female Voice compilation and later re-recorded for LH)

Sleepthief can be reached at here. For someone who listens to loud and fast music (occasionally ultra slow and depressing) music, I think Sleepthief is suitable for those wanted to switch for something different, if you are tired of listening to fast and heavy stuff. Sleepthief = pop. But not too cheesy and overmanufactured.

Score: 8 / 10

Pros: Excellent vocal works by guest artist. Some of the tracks are very inspiring.
Cons: However some tracks are forgettable, at times sounded like a filler song.

Photo credits (photos are taken without permission and used solely for reviewing purpose:

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