Alt-Ctrl-Sleep

Earth Lens

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In keeping with a group that has the word "Sleep" in its name, Alt-Ctl-Sleep turn in another collection of dreamy music in their second album, Earth Lens. Once again, as on the band's self-titled 2008 debut, the tracks move at slow, deliberate tempos paced by drummer April Diaco, over which her husband, songwriter Joe Diaco, layers shimmering, echoing tracks of keyboards and guitar, and sings through filters in a becalmed voice. In the more active passages, it's like the Jesus and Mary Chain without the chain saw guitar effects; in the calmer ones, like the livelier parts of a Brian Eno ambient LP. There are instrumentals and tracks with only wordless vocals, but when the Diacos' lyrics can be made out, they tend to be reassuring statements like "Come with me, I will take you home" ("Silence") and "Love will keep us together always" ("December"). It's appropriate that Alt-Ctl-Sleep are signed to Lakeshore Records, primarily a soundtrack label (which has given them exposure, notably in the film Henry Poole Is Here), since it's easy to imagine the group making a transition to film score work.

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