Sound studio

Delta Sleep: the softest touch

The pandemic has put a pin in the plans of everyone everywhere. As the world descended into chaos, Britain descended into a saga of lockdowns. It was as if the gods were tolling the death knell for the music industry. Albums were shelved, tours were cancelled. It was heartbreaking. However, it also meant that the bands who had spent the last decade traveling here, there and everywhere finally had the chance to hang out at home. And in the case of Brighton DELTA SLEEP, they found themselves putting pen to paper on projects they thought would take a lot longer, including a live album sweet sounds and their third album spring island.

“It was kind of nice to step back and spend some time at home with the family, and take some time to reflect,” the drummer says. Blake Mostin, who feels like she’s finally had a chance to recharge her batteries. “I don’t really know if there’s ever been a time or if there ever will be a time when the whole world just stops like this, so it’s good to put it all in perspective and go back to it with a new breath of life for all that.

The sentiment is shared by the whole band, who, despite being renowned for spinning their indie-tinged math-rock like it’s out of fashion, have realized that it’s was actually quite tired as a bassist. david jackson explains, “Once I settled into the pandemic, it was weirdly pretty nice. I haven’t been home to spring for what seems like 10 years of my life so it was nice to see spring not from inside a van. It was nice to sit and watch what was happening from a bedroom.

And it was while they were back in their rooms that they got to work sweet sounds and spring island. The former is an audio-visual diary of unplugged versions of their songs from various locations around the world and the latter their third album, yet another evolutionary step for the band. The two projects weren’t supposed to happen so quickly, but the band has no regrets.

“To be honest, the videos we released for sweet sounds, we started a long time ago but the confinement pushed it to the fore. I think without the pandemic, it would probably be out in about 10 years,” says David, who is too keen to admit that he is the turtle of this race. “The album came sooner than it would have too because we would have been on the road for most of 2020. It kind of forced our hand because we couldn’t do anything about it. other, the only thing we could do is write.”

Although the album found its feet in the pandemic, its seeds were sewn long ago when they wrote in 2018 Ghost town. And as you dive deeper into spring island, you’ll find that much of it evolves directly from its predecessor, like David Explain. “The softest touch was written for Ghost town, and didn’t quite make it because it wasn’t finished – I think we already had the album in us, it just took the pandemic to get us to do something.

Oddly enough, these are songs like The softest touch and Forest fire of which they are most proud. The journeys that each song took them is a testament to their chemistry as a band. And they feel it captures what makes DELTA SLEEP the group is.

“I have a real weakness for The softest touch, because it went through so many processes and had so many different iterations,” explains Blake, the pride and exasperation clear in his voice that he was finally done. “We have cell phone recordings from years ago where we were doing it in the practice room and it starts off completely different, and it’s nice to finally carve it into what it is now.”

spring island like an album is the sound of a band sculpting a masterpiece. There are layers of color and vibrancy that give depth to their math-rock structures, and there’s that bright shoegaze washed over their music that adds accessibility and pop sensibilities to their sound. None of this was planned, with the majority being the result of the band returning to the studio together for the first time in two years.

“I don’t think we think too deeply about where the sound is going, it’s just an amalgamation of what we listen to back then as our tastes are continually changing,” Blake counters, front David jumps up adding, “it’s definitely a subconscious thing, it’s more like we’ve tried this before so let’s try to do this idea because we haven’t done it before. I don’t think we would be never able to write the same thing again, because we don’t listen to each other enough, we just write what’s fun – we’re not so smart that we can think of a new sound to create and go for it.

Through these moments, they found themselves discovering shoegaze and revisiting SLIM LIZZY. It is safe to say that one had more influence on spring island that the other. And more importantly, even those influences were just a part of them, giving in to their pent-up desire to perform, as Blake explains. “Coming back to the room together was a good fire, I think it highlighted what we didn’t realize we had missed as much as we did. [The Detail] was it liberated from frustration, just walking into a room together and when we finished that one we were all like ‘oh shit, we ran into something’ and it’s all of us who shoot all the cylinders – we chopped that one up without even talking about it, it’s that communication you have when you’re writing and you realize it’s special communication that comes out of nowhere.

spring island as a whole is a special album. However, they are too keen to keep their distance from the pandemic. While its lyrical themes often sound like an audible diary of the last two years of our lives as citizens of the world – overture Cascade starts with the line ‘I dreamed of leaving the house’ — they didn’t plan for it to be a pandemic album, nor do they want it to be.

“I think diviner [Yüceil, vocals] was tired of him not wanting to be too obvious with all of this, we didn’t want to write a lockdown album because nobody wants to hear that,” laughs David, puzzled by how surreal it all is. “But it’s impossible to ignore the last two years of everybody’s life, it’s been pretty crazy and something none of us can forget, so there’s definitely some lyrical parts to it, but it’s it’s more about being isolated and dealing with mental health and depression, it’s about the things that the pandemic has brought, because you just have to look around a little bit more and figure it all out.

DELTA SLEEP aren’t always so serious, they originally attempted to name each track after james bond themes – with Show until fill do the final assembly. However, they take their album titles seriously. They see it as a way to tie each release together, and curiously, spring island summarizes the evolution they undertook throughout, and also guided his work.

“There are a lot of intentional looks at environmental issues in the lyrics, so the idea of spring island basically is quite poignant, but in my mind it’s also an evolution of Ghost town, because you’re left with a tiny bit of the dodecahedron shape of this man-made structure, and then it’s all taken over by its surroundings, which is also our sonic evolution.

While many bands have worn themselves out trying to find creative freedom through a global pandemic, DELTA SLEEP have entered a purple smudge of form, delivering their finest opus yet with spring island.

Spring Island is available now through Sofa Boy Records.

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