- ‘A natural instinctive state of mind deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others’,
- ‘Instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge’
The definition alone stirs up a multitude of thoughts and feelings. Emotion truly is a powerful force that dictates so much of how we see things and in turn what we do in reaction. Of course, the factors that make us feel any particular emotion are limitless, but of course this is a music website, and music is an awesome powerhouse when it comes to instilling emotions throughout our entire being. It truly is the goal of each and every band to attempt this feat, but Dayseeker have always stood above many of their peers and have been able to really dig into them feels. Heartfelt lyrics, instrumentals that with each note basically tell you what you should be feeling, and a voice that oozes the literal definitions of emotion. On their latest endeavor, Sleeptalk, the band delivers this in spades. And yet they never do this in the same manner. Much like emotion being the ever-changing, ever evolving effort that it is, the group consistently seamlessly manufactures a perfect mirror of this. With each album they put out, they seem to take on a new form of delivery. Regardless of some of the general subject matter possibly being rehashed, nothing feels reused. Each album, song, and word is its own beast. Sleeptalk has shown a softer side of the band in an instrumental way, but the power is stronger than ever in the words. This isn’t to say that the album doesn’t still have its intense heavy hitters, but it seems this time around the group decided to let the music speak for itself, as opposed to simply using distorted guitars to deliver the message. If the transmission and infliction of emotion was Dayseeker’s sole job, then Sleeptalk would be the most excellent execution of this task.
FLOW / LONGEVITY / ORIGINALITY
It’s a pretty incredible thing when listening to an album to get so lost that you can barely tell where one song ends and the other begins. I know what you were thinking when you read that last sentence, and I assure you, you’ve read that wrong. It’s not that any one of these ten songs sounds anything like the one before or after. In fact, each song on this incredibly stellar album absolutely takes on its very own life and soul. Focus on the part where I said you get ‘so lost’…you do. You get lost in the emotion. The sadness and anger enrapture you, because that is exactly what Dayseeker wanted. You can’t help but literally feel everything they want you to. You almost are placed into the storyline of each track. When listening from song to song, there may be an ear or two that questions certain placements of certain tracks in accordance to what comes next. This song is ‘too soft’ whereas the next is ‘too heavy’. A prime example is the flow of “The Color Black” into “Already Numb”, then to “Gates of Ivory”. The first of those three tracks is probably one you could have found on almost any Dayseeker album (only because it’s one of the best examples of who the band is as a whole), it’s pretty goddamn heavy and yet it has its softer, subtler moments to help drive the emotional point home. The second song is something pretty new from the boys from Orange County. It’s almost entirely…acoustic! Well, the guitars are at least. So no, this won’t be the song that initiates a vicious pit, but I promise you it will seduce a tear or two. The last diddy is once again when the kids these days are calling a ‘banger’. Heavy, yet atmospheric in an airy sort of way. So…how does it all fit together properly? Well let me assure you; if you truly listen, you can tell this is on purpose and the flow of this album is absolutely perfect.
Since day one of their musical career, Dayseeker have shown the listening public that they mean business and that they’re a force to be reckoned with. Sure, they’re a core band like so many others, but it would be insane to say that’s all they are. This is a group that will never get lost in a sea of lack of creativity, monotony, or complacency. Each album, each song has blood, sweat, and tears poured into it to the point of saturation (and yes, that’s a good thing). It’s this simple fact that assures they can set themselves apart from amongst their peers and that their stay power is beyond reproach. It is an absolute certainty that they will be around for many years to come. Sleeptalk concretes this point even further. Album opener “Drunk” is a beyond perfect example of this. It’s pretty rare that you’ll hear too many people, especially myself, say they enjoy autotune. Each verse is riddled with it quite heavily. This is especially surprising seeing as Rory Rodriguez is one of the most unique and possibly ONE of the most stunning voices in the core world (perhaps the rock world in general) today, but somehow this move plays. Hard. In fact, somehow it almost intensifies the emotion that the song hopes to convey. The verses are a rhythmic rock dream. The sadness waxes and wanes over the instruments effortlessly. You’re sucked into what comes next on Sleeptalk immediately. THIS is what an album opener should be, and other groups should take note.
I find that when I get to the subject of originality, I sometimes hit a bit of a wall. Should I be speaking to what it means overall, or what it entails when it comes to the band alone. On the point of the latter, this absolutely is something entirely fresh for Dayseeker. They used tactics and elements rarely, if ever seen on one of their albums before other than perhaps subtle hints. The use of electronics and even as previously stated, an acoustic guitar, is new ground and yet the last thing it feels like is an experiment. This entire album sounds as if they have been creating this exact sort of music all along. Yes, I know…it’s not the farthest stretch from what they have done before, but it’s definitely different enough that it will for sure turn some heads. The change will not go unnoticed, and I’m more than certain that will be for all the right reasons.
Get the new album “Sleeptalk” here: https://dayseeker.lnk.to/SleepTalk Directed By Kevin Johnson Lyrics: Sleeptalk The blood stains on my hands Our three year, one night stand Love is bitter when it’s spent lying next to me in bed Say her name under my breath Sleeptalk It’s toxic, the same dance Our
VOCALS / INSTRUMENTATION
Do I really need to say much when it comes to Rory Rodriguez and his jaw-droppingly incredible vocals? Oh, wait…guess I kind of just said a lot with only a few words. Well, it’s true. This is a voice that is THE instrument of Dayseeker. I don’t mean this in the way that every other member doesn’t have an integral part in delivering the music that only they could. I just mean that even if the lyrics were astonishingly ghastly, his voice would still give them meaning, He hits high notes without ever becoming pitchy, and his soft croons becomes the reason that watery substance is streaming from your tear ducts. And his screams sound like they come from a point of passion as opposed to only being there to make a song sound heavy. The vocals are and always will be one of the highest points of Dayseeker. This is shown perfectly on “Starving to Be Empty”. Rory hits both the lower tones and higher peaks without ever breaking a sweat. The sense of longing pours out of the speakers and into your heart and it will stay there if you even remotely can sympathize with the words. This song embodies more of a straight up rock or borderline alternative sound, but it’s the words and Rory’s voice that delivers them that brings the heavy.
The instrumentals are the only thing though backing up Rory’s delivery. The group does not simply write a few notes down on a page, then throw ‘em all together and say ‘Yup, that’ll do. That could be a song’. Anyone who listens could tell immediately that this is a band who painstakingly thinks and plans out each and every detail, and that includes what specific notes are paired with which specific bass note or snare drum to truly hit each and every song meaning and emotion home. Take Rory’s vocals away and you’d still be able to feel exactly what Dayseeker wanted you to feel. There is no better example of this than on “Crash and Burn”. The atmospheric, ominous tones scream sadness. The slow drumming and sparingly used bass notes match the breathing of an individual who’s just found out that all could probably be lost. The guitars are each and tear and stare up into the sky looking for answers. Any answers. You could take the voice away, and this song would be a perfect emotional instrumental.
Music video by Dayseeker performing Burial Plot (Audio). © 2019 Universal Music Operations Limited http://vevo.ly/MpLSwe
COMPOSITION / PRODUCTION
In so many words I’ve already spoken about how incredible the writing on this album is. How much effort must have gone into each and every part of it. Nothing was left to chance. Sleeptalk is the album that has shoved this fact down our throats more than any album before in the most spectacular way. There isn’t one part of this album, on any one song, that doesn’t show how much they cared. Dayseeker never really has had a problem showing that they consider what they do an art and it means more to them than any dollar or commendation. They do it because it’s what they know and what they love. But this album is their magnum opus in that sense (at least thus far). I know this is a category that I should have more to offer on, but the only reason I don’t is because I don’t have to. Their writing speaks for itself, both instrumentally and lyrically. But I will say this; fucking mind blowing.
The quality of the production coincides beyond perfectly with the quality of the writing. It’s crisp and clear to the point that you feel as if the band is in the room performing solely for you. It’s especially fantastic where the electronic elements play double duty; they’re meant to be a driving force of the song, yet on a ‘volume’ level they take a backseat. These are the true moments where the production shines if for only that they deliver exactly what they set out to. Excellent production to match an excellent record.
I know I’ve used the word emotion to the point of nausea during this review, but I promise it was for a reason. Dayseeker IS emotion (yup, again). I know, I know…that’s basically what all bands, especially in this genre, what us to feel and what they hope to deliver. But the point is not all make good on that. Dayseeker have always been one of the best groups in the game in helping the listener to feel exactly what they’d hope them to whether they’ve ever actually experienced anything even remotely close to a songs subject matter. Sleeptalk has shown us that this band is a force of nature when it comes to what the band is capable of. Personally, I had never connected with a past Dayseeker record the way I have with this one. The band has changed. They’ve never been one to shy away from their softer (musically) side, but they’ve fully embraced it more than ever on this album. And it has paid off in a major way. THIS is who the band was always meant to be. They have still brought the heavy, just in so many more varied ways and on so many more levels. They have created the album that perfectly embodies everything that is so amazing about Dayseeker.