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Boomkat Product Review:
Making their album debut on Bella Union, Sleeping States deliver on the early promise of releases for Caspian and Tome with this great new full-band long-player that packs in allusions to Kafka, W.G. Sebald and Benjamin Britten whilst applying a roving, experimental songwriting approach that's often uncannily similar to Grizzly Bear's recent successes. At the heart of all things Sleeping States is Bristol-based Markland Starkie, who shows the extent of his musical ambition on 'Rings Of Saturn', a thoughtful, disjointed piece that plods along with Kim Deal-style basslines before erupting into a noisy, freeform splurge of sound. As opening tracks go it's a great statement of intent. 'The Next Village' is more cogent, filled with flickering clean guitars and rushes of harmony, establishing a warm sonic palette that Starkie revisits throughout the album, notably on 'Red King', whose pristine, retuned chords resemble something from Jim O'Rourke-era Sonic Youth. Smart and elegant to the core, Sleeping States first album for Bella Union might just contain Starkie's best work to date - it comes highly recommended in any case.