THE SLEEPING AT LAST PROJECT
After seeing that a list of just 10 songs of the one-of-a-kind musician/band is just so small, decided to make another one. Honestly, Sleeping At Last music touches sore portions of my heart and consoles them, numb senses of my body and awakens them, and the whole being of my mind and nurtures it.
So this is what I learned upon listening and learning the meaning of these songs. It doesn't however mean that you'll understand the same thing. Even I may re-listen the songs in the future and learn something different.
Taste is an upbeat alternative rock song. So there are a lot of drums and other instruments in the instrumental.
I was very surprised when I read the notes by Ryan about this song.
This song was written as a positive song. However, when I read the lyrics with the melody in my head, I perceived something completely different, and it probably happens a lot in my understanding of Sleeping at Last music.
After reading the notes, I became too aware of the differences between the original message and what the song meant to me. So the two contrast meanings got mixed in my head and I got confused (sigh) which makes me love the song even more. So, I won't write anything.
Words I wrote before reading the song notes: "Taste is a song about spirituality; the sacred life along with filthiness of human nature," (another sigh).
Taste is on Atlas II album
*9. Slow & Steady*
When we listen to music, we tend to release different emotions. Or rather, we choose to listen to certain music because of the emotions they incite into our souls. when I listen to Slow and Steady, I smile. Not just because of the insightful lyrics, but also because of the smooth instrumental and the heart-touching melody. However, this is one of the most sophisticated songs by Sleeping At Last.
The song begins with a simple slow rhythm and then eases into a faster one. The slow portion genuinely sounds very sweet, and the lyrics in this part introduce this as a love song; this is why I call it complex. As Ryan and the musicians ease us into the faster portion of the song, that's when I feel my lips curving into a wide smile for the soothing words and melody perceived through listening to this song.
This song is about the soul; our soul. Even though, human soul is abstract, Ryan sings about all of these possibilities of what a soul could be; and the power with which it holds our lives/our subconscious dependence on our souls and the challenges it places in our paths making us better and stronger people. Later, he also describes soul pointing out possibilities of what the soul does; mainly, as a protection we have when we are mostly vulnerable. The soul is ours; hence it is here for us and can't abandon us. This is as good as an inspirational song.
Slow & Steady is on Storyboard album.
Mars is a war song. It sounds a lot like things that happened during the American Civil War. It reminds of the Tarleton Twins in Gone With Wind, a novel by Margaret Mitchell.
From the beginning, the opening musical notes sound like fear. When Ryan starts singing his voice sounds almost as a whisper. It is low like the beginning of a war before opposing sides attack each other.
The story starts with the time when they, civilians who went to war, decided to leave everything, their homes and families and went to war. During the war, they were afraid, "their lives born to heal, become so prone to death." The war went on and on until when luckily it was decided that they lay their weapons down for they didn't know what they were fighting for anymore. They sighed in relief because they were given another chance to a new better life. They went back home to nurse their brokenness with a new decision to build themselves a much better life.
Mars is on Atlas I album.
*7. Needle and thread*
Needle and Thread is a song about life. But which aspects? It's about the life and different pursuits that we take in life.
The first point made in the lyrics is that if we look closely, we'll find that we are all hunters in this world. The second is that when we are sick lying in hospital beds, we should realize that the same bed was our entrance into life and is as much as our exit out of life. Then, the song gets to the moment when God sends people into this world, and what he tells them to do. When we go throughout a hard time, we suffer about it, cry about it hard, talk about it. Then "the answers are found all pieced together."
All in all, the song says that all the effort we use trying to find love follow us until the end. Then, we learn that we, ourselves, are made of love. That every tissue of our body is love even though we'd been hunting for this love.
This song is on Keep No Score album.
Birthright tells a story of a girl who grew up with animals; she was free and secure. She could do anything she wanted. It tells also a story of a boy who was imprisoned in a tower somewhere. He wasn't free; so, as time went on slowly, he dreamt about breaking out one day.
The girl who was protected and free was made the queen since birth. But she wasn't ready to lead. The boy was finally freed and sent into the wide world to do as much as he wanted but possibly less.
The song birthright shows the irony of things on the earth. It tells that we get our strength from our weakness, that pain is a privilege and that a privilege is pain; all into the reflection of the stories told in this song.
This song is by Sleeping at last featuring Jon Foreman, and on Yearbook album.
Earth is a sad song. A song about guilt and the sanctions of sin. It begins with the way people make a promise or vow to do something. After some time, the promise is broken then the person starts to find ways to justify what he's done. However, the guilt grows and grows as he awaits for the sanctions of his sins or the broken promises.
The sanctions start as "fault lines trembling under his glass house;" the guilt eats him alive, making the the floor of his heart tremble but he ignores it; he even turns this feeling into a position one. But then the sanction grows, brings upon him loud echoes, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, wildfires, on and on until he prays for his sins. Then the siren sounds, and a new life or chapter begins.
This song is on the Atlas I album.
Starting from the instrumental of Umbrellas, it's more than just good. It is one of those songs you listen to and they immediately draw you in; make you feel that the song is really good. Or the music itself is so good. Every musical verse has 4 musical lines. The first line is low the last one is upper-low. There is a vertical direction, a beginning to an end, over and over. I hear a guitar and drums among other instruments and before the song ends, I hear lots and lots of a violins that make the song even sweeter than it already is. This is a flat song by the way. But it unflattens before every flat line ends. You can only get it if you listen to it.
To the lyrics, Umbrella is a love song. Sleeping At Last sings three stages of marriage life. The first one is the beginning of a marriage, the second is about having an offspring and having him or her, then the third is about life afterwards, all under the declaration that says "You are meant for amazing thing." The song ends with the loud sound of calm water. This is definitely how it sounds like in my ears. Calm water can't be loud, but this is the loud sound of calm water; which is so sweet you could listen to it forever since you can't eat the music.
However, the singing character is not someone who is married, it's someone who is dreaming what his future with the woman he loves will be like; but it's not just dreaming; it's planning as well. He speaks of proposing and getting married. Then he will actively demonstrate his love to this woman. Later, they will have a child and bequeath to this baby "You were meant for amazing things." Later, they will lead the child into the world. When the earth tries to harm his child, he will "catch bullets in his bare hands" because the child was meant for amazing things.
This song is on Keep No Score album.
*3. Green Screens*
Green Screens is a wish song for the future. It's an "if only" song that depicts the situation of somewhere between the life we have and the life we could have if we could shape our futures the way we want just like how green screens referred to as "the background artist" are used.
The song moves flatly from the beginning to the middle, but just as Ryan did in Hourglass , he in the end raises the melody of the song, giving us the climax of the song for just a few seconds. Ironically, his voice, the melody, the music and the lyrics literally puts us "on the edges of ours seats," while he sings those exact words. On this notes, I just don't want the song to end at all.
This song is on Storyboard album.
North is a Home song. The first verse gives a declaration that North is home and will always be even "though the storms will push and pull" them away from the north. After the declaration, comes different things that will be done to mark this place as home such as making everlasting memories by telling stories in those walls.
Then comes the simply beautiful chorus. It's a plea to the North, it's a knock on the door if the North asking for a welcome, asking for blending in and belonging, asking for a safe everlasting life in the North, asking to be fed and nurtured by the North forever and ever.
Later, as the house is broken, he express the need to repair the house over and over, "to repaint and repaint and repaint every day" as their color in the north fades, as their paint marks at home chips away.
This song is on Atlas I album.
Daughter is a twin song of Son, number 1 on the previous list. These songs share a lot. I characterize this song as an inspirational song.
Daughter starts with the declaration that upon the birth of this baby girl, everything looks/is better; the sun shines a little lighter, the world ain't that heavy anymore... Then comes a wish or a need to see this child grow older and older, taking charge of her life.Then comes a point; showing the girl what she has. This is the opening of motivation in the song. Then comes the guidance. Urging the girl on, he tells her that she is ready, and that her floor is her parents' ceiling. Meaning that, a parent's highest level in everything is his child's lowest level. That she starts from that point and climbs high, Ryan explained in his song notes.
All in all, this is an inspirational song; not just to children but to everyone especially when you are feeling like you failed or when you need to remind yourself of who you are, what you have, and what you need to do, because "all you gotta do is put one foot in front of you."
Daughter is on Atlas II album as twin song of Son.
That's it for this list for now. More are coming. Definitely, check these songs out. They sound better in person, or should I say, in ears.