Album Review :
Sleep For Sleepers - The Clearing

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Artist: Sleep For Sleepers

Album: The Clearing

Reviewer: Tyler Hess

Released: Independently in 2008

Sometimes it just isn’t the best idea to listen to an album for the first time at 1 in the morning in a slightly delusional state, even if the band name has “sleep” in it, because it just won’t make any sense. Then again, I didn’t know what to do with this album for the next couple of days either. This is one of those times when I just couldn’t put my finger on it right away, as I just I wasn’t sure what I was listening to. However, like a resilient gold miner in 1849, I took out my tools and started digging. For me, this album wasn’t one that jumped out and grabbed me, it simply seduced me into grabbing it by the horns (sitting down, listening to it over and over again, reading the lyrics) forcing it to make sense. In the end (which I hear is not really the end), I discovered an indie rock band similar to My Epic, complete with piano synths and string arrangements, with lyrics that are challenging and a bit poetic.

Sometimes as Christians we don’t like to think that there are real problems out there, real people that need to be reached with words that aren’t easy to digest, things like the Bible talks about. We’d rather sit in a comfortable seat and listen to hymns about how great our God is and how great we are at worshipping Him. I kind of like it when I hear material that gets me out of that mindset, that gets me thinking about the difficulties that others are going through (or myself at times). “The Clearing” starts off with the song titled “Bravery”, which offers these thought provoking words: “hey sisters, have you been shown? / That you’re much more than bodies used to dance on their floors / they call out for you all night and all day / the gentlemen beg and they beg and they beg and they beg”. The songs throughout issue similar challenges, not always in an overt way, but they tend to draw from ideas of insecurities, and I think can best be summed up just the way they intended, with the last words on the final (and title) track, “The Clearing”, where they claim “while I’ve tested seasons in search for Your glory / I have two bloody hands with scars that can prove / I tried to fight fears, instead I fought you / when will I learn of all that I’m worth? / more than I’m told / more than I’ve heard / more than I’ve heard / this is the process of finding who I am.”

So, after some digging into this album, I’ve found that if you give this album time, the words will sink in and give a deeper meaning. Some albums will catch you by a hook and you end up flopping around like a fish in a bucket, others give you the chance to breathe and think things through. Check these guys out and give them some time to sink in. I know we hate that in America, where we want everything microwave-ready, but sometimes its nice to just relax and listen.