The Sleepy Jackson - God Lead Your Soul

Holly Barnes 14/07/2006

Rating: 4/5

Stumbling across The Sleepy Jackson for the first time was a serendipitous affair: the tubes of paint and messy palettes that adorned the cover of their self-titled mini-album attracted me to take the dive on a record I'd never heard of before. I was treated to the falsetto vocals and wobbly guitar lines of the ridiculously good single Good Dancers along with more lo-fi Sparklehorse-esque tracks such as Now Your Spirit Drags The Pack. It was love at first listen, and I wanted more. Later, during the worst heatwave in decades, I co-erced the family into driving hours from our holiday base in France to find a record store; it was a harder task than even I, the French-music hater, had imagined- apparently Johnny Halliday still has a monopoly on shelf space. Eventually, though, a copy of debut album Lovers was discovered (along with The Raveonettes' Whip It On and Sigur Ros' Untitled 4/ Vaka- quite a haul I think you'll agree) and it remained in the car CD changer for the rest of the holiday. I maintain that Lovers made the heat just that bit more bearable, although perhaps the pushed-to-breaking-point air conditioning helped.

The Sleepy Jackson thrive in the sunshine and Australia's finest export (don't believe the beer commercials) should be celebrated. So, it's timely that new single God Lead Your Soul should reach our shores right now; this band help us make the most of our short and unpredictable British summers, while the joyful atmosphere could pick up any dejected football fan. Packed with floaty Oohs and Aahs, it builds with brass, strings and numerous vocal melodies interweaving seamlessly. Who knows what Luke Steele, the legendarily kooky lead singer and Brian Wilson-esque 'band-leader', is singing about? There are dragons here, and monsters in his brother's room; half the lyrics are unintelligible and the other half are incomprehensible. Still, that's part of the charm. Let go and God Lead Your Soul will lead you on your own flights of fancy- The Sleepy Jackson just get the ball rolling. Though nowhere near eclipsing Good Dancers in terms of immediate pleasure and repeat-ability (it's a word, maybe), this song is still marvellous, and a good portent of what is to come from second album Personality (One Was A Bird One Was A Spider).

Watch the videohere