No Sleep = SunShade ‘n Rain + Stephen Malkmus
Happy Valley pop rock is alive and well with the Provo band No Sleep’s self-titled full-length. Guitarist Matthias Hammon’s shimmering, fingerpicked arpeggios dominate the somewhat spare production with the sweet-without-saccharine vocals of Shelby Crawley, who shares vocal duties with Hammon. It’s a happy event indeed to have this release on the local listening landscape, with the astutely written chord changes that at times veer (not too far) into jazz territory. There is a spiritual side to Hammon’s lyrics, like “People, come outside/Feel the rain from on high/Sing out loud and see/What the Lord has done for thee” from “Raincloud,” and the album’s closer, an ode to the Book of Mormon character Abinadi. But it doesn’t ever get really preachy—it’s just a really well-written and played, addictively listenable set of original ballads. –Stakerized!