Mystery enshrouds the ranks of London-based outfit Sleep Token. Their Facebook page hints at the fact that they are a supergroup (“Sleep Token are a masked, anonymous collective of musicians (that may or may not be prolific artists from a variety of different projects)”) but nothing is as of yet known about who its members are.
What’s left to us is the music, which features a strange mix of eerie singer-songwriter music and ambient djent. Lyrically the song carries an atmosphere of understated love-making. I would not dare to call “threading the needle” a sex metaphor – I know it as an idiom – but if it has such a connotation in the context of this song, it would be one of the strangest and most uncomfortable I have ever encountered. Taking the lyrics in the traditional sense of the idiom however, “finding harmony or strike a balance between conflicting forces”, the song becomes a beautiful song about love, full of anticipation, that is carried perfectly by the male vocalist who has an undeniably great voice.
So what’s up with this mystery? Trying to get to the bottom of this mystery seems impossible up til now. The band is supposedly headed by a charismatic figure called “Vessel”, and a quick search around the web leads to the doorstep of experimental techno artist Sebastian Gainsborough, who is London-based, like the band, and whose alias rings the same. However, as none of his songs include any vocals, so it is hard to determine whether he is a false lead. Producer George Lever posted an extensive analysis of the song’s production, which reveals that there were multiple songs recorded. So there are more tracks on the way, which is good news. Thread the Needle is an emotionally haunting experience. Some of the AD crew have their doubts about whether the band will be able to maintain that same atmosphere for a full length record, but all in all, this is a debut that we’re eagerly awaiting.