With masterful attention to detail, prolific song writing and a powerful live act, Slumberhaze create truly hard to label, original music. Featuring strong rhythms and catchy melodies, Slumberhaze have created a theatrical storyboard of songs that truly push the boundaries of genre and time. The group started as a duo writing/performing European flavoured folk music. Over the years, their sound has developed into a distinct flavour they call ‘Dark Colourful Pop’, incorporating influences as diverse as Outkast and David Bowie.
Written just after Sasha (vocals) went through a series of major life changes, the upcoming single is named ‘Silence’. The song speaks of a man with schizophrenia that finds catharsis in the woman of his dreams. Her memory encapsulates and defines his conscious being, both easing his affliction with comfort and guidance, while in turn leading to painful withdrawals as the memory slowly fades. The accompanying film-clip is a stark and minimalist portrayal of this tumultuous internal struggle.
Musically, the song splits into two wild directions. The verse features a chugging southern hip-hop beat with deep synthesisers and urging vocals. The chorus introduces stabbing guitars, swirling strings, soaring mellotrons and bombastic acoustic drums, all of which drive this cathartic story to an epic close.
Although quite young to the scene, Slumberhaze have accumulated an impressive trophy wall over the past 2-3 years with notable mentions of Triple J Rotation for last single Neon Demon and Nothing But You previously, high rotation on Double J and Unearthed for both, a completed trilogy of EP’s named ‘Rhyme, Rhythm & Romance’ which all garnered critical praise, 5-star rating on last single by Richard Kingsmill on Unearthed, sold out shows in hometown Sydney and extensive tours that have kept the project in the industry eye for the past year.
Maddie interviews Slumberhaze about their announcement.
Last time I interviewed you guys, you had just released ‘Run As Fast As You Can, Kids’, and now you’re releasing ‘Silence’ which sounds very different. Why did you choose to change up your sound for this single?
It wasn’t a conscious decision and our music seems to have very little consistency in sound from song to song. We have never aspired to a particular style or sound and just flowed with the melodies and overall vibe, and that in itself seems to keep all the songs fresh to us.
Will there be a music video for the track?
Yes, we have just received it and it is beautiful. In short, it is a visual replay of an episode in our subject’s mind, a schizophrenic man with a love for the woman that alleviates his symptoms. Its nostalgic and repetitive and loving, like his mind.
How has your music evolved from the EP trilogy to your current work?
It really hasn’t, we have worked with an old allie in our producer, Dave Hammer, who has a strong knack for really finding the Slumberhaze dynamic in the production and mixing. We are defining the duality in our band sound and our electronic sound, and we found that with this song, we could bring the two worlds together as best as possible without crashing.
Does ‘Silence’ set the tone for music that’s to come?
As for the cross-genre feel, yes. As a writer with a very low attention span, that of a disgruntled golf course rabbit, I tend to write spontaneously and emotionally. The catalogue is so varied but has this constant Haze vibe down the middle of it. We have found it very difficult explaining our music to media and producers and industry, so we just say it’s Anti-Genre, which is not entirely true but it’s a great way to stop the question.
I read that ‘Silence’ is split into two directions (the verse features a chugging southern hip-hop beat with deep synthesisers and urging vocals and then the chorus introduces stabbing guitars, swirling strings, soaring mellotrons and bombastic acoustic drums), are you learning to try new things and experiment more in your music, or was this planned?
It was the way it was written, but it was highlighted in the studio and final mixing stages. We are definitely experimenting and are excited to start recording our next single. Working with other singers, rappers and producers is all on the bucket list.
Are you working on a new album? Last time we spoke you said you had enough material for three albums!
We do, but we don’t think releasing an album is wise just yet. We are slowly building a following in our hometown and in Australia, and are steadily working up a fan base before we release any major works like that. We plan to tour heavily and support some amazing bands before we buckle down for the debut record.
‘Silence’ has a really deep meaning behind it (The song speaks of a man with schizophrenia that finds catharsis in the woman of his dreams), how did such a major concept come about?
From a life experience. It was such a wonderous subject to write about. At first the song wasn’t about this, but as I worked more on the lyrics, I realised where they were all coming from, so it almost happened without thought, and the explanation came when the song was nearly finished, like an ‘Now I understand’ moment.
You also went through some major life events just before the writing of ‘Silence’, do you think experiences helps to make better music as opposed to using your imagination and making it up?
All ups and downs make for good writing. If all was great I wouldn’t be overly motivated to write and perform. Some people can write when it’s sunny and they’re in a great mood; they’re called Children’s writers.
You’ve also announced a national tour which is exciting! Have you learned anything from previous shows that will prepare you for this tour?
Perform with all your might! Meet new faces and help people leave without socks. Don’t drink too much as you need your voice and try to pick better accommodation that an 8-man dorm with a stench a fire wouldn’t get rid of.
What can fans expect from these shows?
Music for the Left Fielders, Right Brainers & Straight Trippers.
Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. I really like the sound of ‘Silence’ and can’t wait to hear more!
Interview by Maddie Birkett
Slumberhaze is Sasha, Liam, Zoran, Steve, Dane
Follow On facebook.com /slumberhaze
Tour dates here!
THUR 24th NOV: Wollongong @ Rad Bar
FRI 25th NOV: Sydney @ Oxford Art Factory / Rare Finds Aria Week
SAT 26th NOV: Canberra @ Phoenix Bar Birthday Party
WED 30th NOV: Newcastle @ Lass O’Gowrie
THUR 1st DEC: Brisbane @ Bearded Lady
FRI 2nd DEC: Port Macquarie @ Port Pier
SAT 3rd DEC: Melbourne @ Penny Black
THUR 8th DEC: Manly @ Hotel Steyne
THUR 15th DEC: Manly @ Hotel Steyne
FRI 16th DEC: Sydney @ The Factory Floor (w/ Elliot The Bull)