Review: Sleep In, “Settling”

Posted 4 years ago by Joel Funk

What if I told you that Evan Weiss’ Into It. Over It. was the second best thing that came out of New Jersey’s The Progress?

You would probably spit in my face and tell me that I had no clue what I was talking about. But before you cast your stones, please take a listen to Eric McNelis’ new project, Sleep In. While they are one of many bands to release music in the midst of what most are calling an emo revival, Sleep In is one of a handful of bands that are doing the genre any real justice. Settling, the groups debut LP, is one of the most fluid sounding albums I’ve heard in a minute. Each track feels right at home in the slot it’s given; making for an incredibly effortless listening experience.

The record opens up with “I Do Know and I’m Not Sorry”, and it makes for an immediate hostage situation. The musicianship in the introduction alone was enough to have me going crazy and then the vocals kicked in. I knew right then and there that I was in for a treat with this record, and I couldn’t wait to dive deeper into it. I will urge you to heed their warning, “Go ahead and take your best shot/You haven’t seen the best that I got”, because you haven’t. Follow up track, “Sleep Sound” sounds just like something that would have been my profile song back in the heyday of myspace. There’s this huge nostalgic quality to the chorus of the track that will have you coming back for more. 

“Streets” is next in line, and is another one of those songs that just sounds like 2005/6. It’s the undeniable feeling of warmth these tracks give off that just sounds so…out of that decade(?) while still sounding like something only Sleep In could have put out. Next is the ultimate campfire jam, “Bound To Fold.” The song rings in at barely 2 minutes, but the super mellow vibe the song gives off just makes it feel like it’s right at home being played around a campfire. Especially after the drums kick in.

“Small Scars” is the next track, and I’ll be so upset if this doesn’t get released as a single. Lyrically this song is so incredibly relatable, and the musicianship is spectacular. Kids will gobble this track up – no question. Facebook statuses are abundant in this song (trust me, I’m already guilty of it.) Then we have “Antisocial Darwinism.” Can we just talk about the title of this track? I swear that if I’m to write a memoir, I’m borrowing that title. The guitar work on this track is some of the best on the whole record, and they really pack a punch at about 1:20 into the track.

The next track, “A Lot To Say”, is just one of those songs, man. There are so many songs on this record worthy of being released as singles. I just feel like this one would have been so perfect as a lead single. The repetition of “Still a lot to say/And not enough time to say it” near the tail end of the track would have been such a clever way of creating some kind of hype around this record. And believe me, this record deserves so much more hype than it has at the time I’m writing this. We’re then given “Come Closer”, which is very similar in structure to an Elder Brother song. The track starts off incredibly mellow and progressively picks up until coming to a climax with a little over a minutes time to spare. The powerful vocal delivery that picks up with the instrumentation is goosebump worthy.

“Starting Over” is next and wastes no time at all getting right into the swing of things. The entire song is so upbeat and sounds very much like something I would expect to hear on a modern Sugarcult record. Much respect. The title track, “Settling”, is next and it’s probably my favorite song on the whole record. The music has a real sense of movability to it, and the lyrics are just out of this world. The chorus sounds so incredibly familiar, so much like something I could have heard on the radio back when bands like Jimmy Eat World still had a fighting chance at airtime. Choosing this track as a closer was such a smart move. It leaves you hungry for more – ultimately leading to starting the whole thing over. 

Sleep In is one of those bands that very easily fits into the Emo Revival of 2014 but could have coexisted with some of the best bands mid-2000’s emo had to offer. There is no doubting that this band is going to do big things, and I can only hope to see them get the recognition they deserve for this record. Settling is easily one of my top five releases of 2014 right now, and something tells me that it’s not going to change.