Sleep ∞ Over | I Want to Be Alone (Cover)

January 29, 2013 at 2:08 pm 6 comments

Sleep ∞ Over’s (aka Stefanie Franciotti) style is a good fit for a song like Vashti Bunyan’s “I Want to Be Alone” (1965). Sleep ∞ Over is known for creating romantic dream-pop, with buried ghostly lead vocals and shoegaze instrumental elements that always feel like they’re in a state of beautiful disintegration. Yeah, I read Pitchfork/Fader writer Sam Hockley-Smith’s take on the track and couldn’t disagree more. He is correct about one thing, Sleep ∞ Over adds a slow-marching drum, the usual vocal distortions — along with horns and a bit of white noise. But far from being the worst thing ever (if you read Smith’s take), it’s a pretty decent cover version of a pretty single by a classic 60s artist. Sorry for the low-level rant. I don’t mean to call out another writer. I’m a fan of Pitchfork, so this post is nothing against them at all. And I’ve got no grind with Smith. But I do have a major pet-peeve with music reviewers: If you’re going to say a song isn’t good, then at least put enough effort into your post, so that it feels as if you’ve given adequate thought to what you’ve written. (If a person is gonna thrash a song, they should try to avoid appearing dashed-off — the immediate signs of which are misspellings and inaccurate pronouns.) Hey, I’m guilty of bad spelling and terrible grammar everyday, but I give extra-effort to get it right if I’m going negative on a song or record. Musicians put a lot of effort into creating songs (many no longer getting paid much for it, if at all), so as writers (especially of the paid variety) we should try to get our shit together when we write about their work. At the very least, we should get the gender of the artist right. Sleep ∞ Over fan’s will enjoy this track. The song is out on 7-inch via Hippos In Tanks. — David D. Robbins Jr.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. DanP  |  January 30, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Amen brother! … and … it’s a really lovely track!!!!

    Reply
    • 2. daviddrobbins  |  January 30, 2013 at 2:37 am

      Hey Dan! I couldn’t resist. Mainly because I nearly wrote a post like this last year (but deleted the criticism part) when I read something similar about a different song. And then it dawned on me — it was the same writer once again (probably hurried to get a quick post up, since the track debuted on another site) — and not taking much time to proofread his writing. Like I said, I don’t know the writer, and in fact, I can’t even recall his name right now as I write you this note. So, I got no grudges. (For the record, I don’t know Stefanie Franciotti either.) But musicians nowadays generally allow folks to stream their entire records, they give away at least one free track as a promo to fans, the curious and blogs like mine — and they deserve some care in regard to writing about their creations. I won’t dwell on it too much, but I know you understand, being a musician and a fellow music lover. It’s one thing to debate the merits of the track. You know the saying, “To each his own.” But that post was a bit too “screwed up” to be calling someone else’s music “screwed-up”.🙂 Yeah — I like it too. And the more I listened to it — the more I liked it.

      Reply
  • 3. DanP  |  January 30, 2013 at 12:21 am

    breath of fresh air, Imposed got it right:

    http://www.imposemagazine.com/bytes/a-rich-release-from-sleep–over

    Reply
    • 4. daviddrobbins  |  January 30, 2013 at 2:38 am

      Yep. Thanks for the link. Looks as if the song premiered at Gorilla vs. Bear — where one of its writers had some nice words for it too.

      Reply
  • 5. DanP  |  January 30, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Again, I agree with everything you’ve added. Btw, I don’t think “screwed up” is a very useful adjective (or adjectival phrase) for characterizing music. Using a term like that doesn’t seem to reflect much effort or resourcefulness with regard to vocabulary–although I suppose there may be a few instances of music for which “screwed up” is entirely apt, you never know! As for the proofreading…some people who write very well (I’m not necessarily referring to the Pitchfork writer in question) can’t proofread well. It takes a certain kind of eye. (I speak from years of experience as a professional writer and editor and occasionally proofreader). A massive commercial engine like Pitchfork should have skilled proofreaders–and, antecedent to proofreading, skilled copyeditors–on staff and available to check and catch that stuff before it goes up. They don’t seem to.

    Some of the writers at Pitchfork are really good, and some of them aren’t, and some of them would be so much better with a just a little light editing (almost all writers can benefit from good editing). And of course writers should be diligent and thorough and detail-oriented but at an enterprise of this kind, there should always be a second or third pair of eyes. Proofreading is a distinct skill-set from that of writing.

    Reply
  • 6. DanP  |  January 30, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    David, there was another matter I wanted to ask your opinion on…do you think Sleep Over’s full-length Forever is generally up to the quality level of the track you’ve posted here?

    Reply

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