Record Review: Sleepy Vikings

Sleepy Vikings
They Will Find You Here
Tampa, FL

“From the depths of the shoegaze swamps”

At times, the term “shoegaze” gets abused as a genre. However, it does raise eyebrows when Tampa-based group Sleepy Vikings takes the word, then tweaks and conditions it to create “southern shoegaze” as a way to describe themselves and their new album, They Will Find You Here.

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The poppy, jangly music reeks of tender summer adolescence and swampy southern folktales, drunken nights of malt liquor and apathetic teenage disillusionment. Still, this doesn’t equate to the band being musically immature or ignorant. The contrasting vocals between Tessa McKenna and Julian Conner make a harmonious mixture of dreamy elegance and chip-on-the-shoulder indie rock. The lap steel guitar and occasional banjo from Nicole Schleif is a sleek addition and carefully tends the hazy atmosphere. And of course, the bells are a popular component in shoegaze.

One of the highlights is “Hunters,” which cleverly veils a dark narration, glossing it over with a mellow pop melody. The opening of “Twin Peaks” nearly resembled that of an old Eels tune, but then quickly progressed into a fast-paced number that conjured memories of being young, stupid and not giving a damn.

Despite the carefree attitude and adolescent poetry of this introductory album, They Will Find You Here is far from being a freewheeling, spiritless record. (New Granada Records)

Recorded and mixed at Atomic Audio Studios, Tampa, FL

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