Gorky's Zygotic Mynci

Sleep/Holiday

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AllMusic Review by

As trite as it may be, Sleep/Holiday's name is an apt reflection of the album's sound: dreamy and atmospheric, the perfect soundtrack to a quiet fall and winter out in the country. Delicately warm songs like "Happiness" and "Shorelight" are some of the prettiest songs that Gorky's Zygotic Mynci has written, and among the group's most atmospheric too. Aside from the quirky Spanish Dance Troupe-esque outburst "Mow the Lawn," nearly all of Sleep/Holiday trades in the intimate, slightly whimsical folk-rock that the group has been perfecting since Barafundle. On the surface, this approach isn't as challenging or as immediate as their earlier work, but songs like "Single to Fairwater" -- a maple syrup-sweet song with lyrics like "And of all of my boyfriends/Well I hate you the most/To look in your eyes/You're a f*cking disgrace" -- prove once again that the band hasn't lost its edge but has merely changed the way it's used. And while Sleep/Holiday is indeed a soothing album, it's not a complacent one; even though Gorky's Zygotic Mynci has been around for nearly a decade, the band still sounds wide-eyed and on the cusp of falling in love -- or falling out of it -- for the first time. "Waking for Winter" and "Eyes of Green, Green, Green," with their jaunty pianos, fiddles, harmonicas, and Euros Childs' yearning vocals, are so genuinely, sweetly romantic that it's hard not to be swept away by them. This earnestness makes even the album's slightest songs, such as "Country," endearing, but Sleep/Holiday also has many ambitious moments, most of which arrive near the album's end. "South of France" traces a romance from summer to winter with breathtaking harmonies, which also float through "Leave My Dreaming," which sounds like a Beach Boys song unfolding in slow motion. "Only Takes a Night" moves from gentle melancholy to a noisy, extended coda, while "Red Rocks" closes the album on an aptly serene, hypnotic note. While it's not as diverse as Spanish Dance Troupe or as immediate as How I Long to Feel That Summer in My Heart, Sleep/Holiday is just as lovely and heartfelt, and another fine addition to Gorky's Zygotic Mynci's body of work.

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