Songs for Sleep Walkers is the nom de disque behind Sweedish alternative folk artist Andrea Caccese, and an incredibly fitting one at that. Our Rehearsed Spontaneous Reactions takes you through the motions of a restless insomniac, punctured with glitchy synths, stirring string and an acoustic.
His deep vibrato, accented by songbird female vocals, melts into the fitful sleeplessness of ‘We Are Still Here’. The drums build up, like the increasing frustration of seeing the sun rise before you’ve had a chance to rest. The song dies down to a halt, then returns with lighter riffs of relief. ‘Tell Me How’ highlights angst and confusion of this album, with stop-start high-pitched plucks framing lyrics which search for meaning in life. Only in ‘Alseep’ does Andrea find peace, away from the struggles of his mind, with the sounds of a Spanish guitar being filtered through the pouring rain. But as his soft coos fade away, the songs get progressively busier and chaotic, hinting at a troubled subconscious.
We’re given a clue as to why he appears so fraught with anxiety in album closer, ‘What if I Do’. Although preceded by the gorgeous, sweeping violins of gentle “us against the world” croon ‘Set the World on Fire’, this is an aching desire for his love to go further; for him and his beloved to escape. It’s a rougher recording than the rest of the album, just him and his guitar, as though it wasn’t meant to be part of the album, but came to him in a flash inspiration. The promise “We could go where no one else has been” is repeated, and it’s possible that this may not only speak for object of his affections, but for Songs for the Sleep Walkers’ sunrise-bright future.
Words: Abigail Evans