Ten Sleep’s sophomore album “Suburban Lore” packs far more punch than a 7 song, 26 minute tracklist would suggest. From 80’s inspired synth lines, syncopated beats, delay laden guitar lines, intricate layering, and perfectly measured falsetto cutting through the mix, “Suburban Lore” checks all of the boxes musically. From a songwriting perspective the album is also highly successful: incredibly catchy yet not too simplistic, accessible but not predictable, easy to listen to but far from forgettable.
This album could easily serve as the backdrop for a relaxed Saturday night in with friends just as it could for a drive along the California coast with the top down. To be sure, swirling background arrangements and frequent instrumental interludes provide ample ambience. However, this album is not merely another retro synth, 80’s influenced mood setter. Whereas some albums of a similar persuasion are more relaxing than profound, “Suburban Lore”, produces several unforgettable moments. The tracklist develops from catchy and danceable (most notably the incredibly lively fourth track “St. Petersburg”) to the closing two songs’ slight melancholy and overwhelmingly memorable choruses.
The album’s closing song “Darkroom” is the highlight of the album and one of the best songs I have heard in recent memory. Opening with a post rock-esque guitar line and an understated, syncopated beat, “Darkroom” blossoms into a haunting and unforgettable falsetto chorus. The song closes with an instrumental outro that serves as the perfect end to a stellar album.