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sleepingdog - With Our Heads In The Clouds And Our Hearts In The Fields
Sleepingdog is the collaborative moniker of Belgian singer-songwriter Chantal Acda and hallowed drone-God Adam Wiltzie of Stars of the Lid. 'With Our Heads In The Clouds and Out Hearts In The Fields' is their third album together, and probably the most successful blend to date of Acda's introverted songs and Wiltzie's instantly recognizable drones. They manage to rope in a couple of collaborators too in the shape of Touch artist and cellist Hildur Gudnadottir and violinist Chester Diamond, and this orchestral lilt adds just the right amount of levity to an already beautiful selection of songs. I suppose there is hardly a shortage of singer/songwriters willing to allow their pieces to be tampered with these days, but the sublime subtlety of Sleepingdog is what instantly sets it apart from the competition. Wiltzie's distinctly cinematic touch is evident from the first notes, and the glorious haunted palate that made 'Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid' so appealing is evident immediately. Juxtaposed with Acda's breathy vocals we get something unexpected; I never listened to Stars of the Lid thinking that the sounds could be successfully re-framed as pop music, but here it is. Sure there are none of the bells and whistles you might expect from the latest Taylor Swift single, but this is such deeply memorable stuff, and more importantly focuses on real songs. It's just that the songs have a little more weight to them than usual, and like Sigur Ros before it, the texture and depth is what will have you coming back for more again and again. Gorgeous.