Industrial/Electronic Realms : Sleepthief – “The Dawnseeker” (2006)


Label : Neurodisc Records

Review by Luisa Mercier

After falling in love with their latest release, “Labyrinthine Heart”, I decided to listen carefully to their previous one, “The Dawnseeker”. First of all, let me spend a word or maybe more on the graphic artwork. It is something so beautifully crafted, never seen such an amazing design for a CD. The content is amazing as well. If I should compare the two albums. I’d say that this is more introspective, more emotional and relaxing, while “Labyrinthine Heart” is enriched with some lively moments. This morning my emotional standpoint is such I could write easily about this piece of art. It starts with “Eurydice”, apparently inspired to the Greek myth. Soft, delicate, caresses your ears and your soul. Also the video is one of the most well shot I have ever watched. An Eastern ethnic feeling introduces “Desires of Ages”. The orchestrations and the drums are thick on the usual lush background which provides the perfect environment for the lovely female vocals. “You Did a Good Thing” is maybe the only sad song in the Sleepthief’s discography. The others are quite melanchonic, nostalgic, but always with a sparkle of hope. This one is just sad. It moves me a lot. You did a good thing, you did, it’s a past tense. You tried to save her, it didn’t work, you have not to regret. That’s the message I get every time.  “Just Say It” is slightly more upbeat and electronic than the previous ones. The chorus is memorable, it’s one of those moments which made me love Sleepthief, one of those things which raise your soul. Cover song time. The chosen one is “The Chaffeur”, originally by Duran Duran. I already listened to other bands covering this song (the Italian The LoveCrave for example) but this is the best by far. It’s a nice pop-rock arrangement with electronic background which shows the range of styles Sleepthief can play. Love Kirsty Hawkshaw’s vocals in the and how they blend with the more upbeat music. Following we find “Tenuous”, a gentler ballad, with vastly reaching orchestral-style arrangements. Listen for her soaring harmony layers throughout. Tension builds in the verse and is perfectly released in the lush chorus. Once again, the video shot for this song is really worth watching. One of my favourite is “Sublunar (Sweet Angel)”. It starts with a suspicious pace, soaring afterwards, sweetly coming to the beautiful “Hush, hush, hush”. I love how the different vocal layers are mixed, it gives an heavenly feeling. “Nightjar” is a dark, brooding and bluesy ballad, perfectly suited for the singer’s distinctive voice. Strings, percussion and electronics blend perfectly against the solo vocal line. I am still asking myself if “Fire from Heaven” refers again to Greek Mythology, to Prometheus to be precise who stole fire from Olympus. It’s quite clear that Justin Elswick has a thing for Ancient Greece. The song is a mid paced one with an ironic atmosphere, which makes it unique. “The Metro” is another cover song. Maybe this is the most club oriented track, with its upbeat and danceable aura. “Kiss to Savor” is maybe the most stunning song on this album. Featuring the vocals of Jody Quine, is lushous, sensual, sexy, perfect for romantic or something more moment. Harmony layers echo while the melody built alongside is powerfully delivered. Afterthoughts is a rhythmic and Celtic influenced number, most reminiscent of Enya‘s music in many ways. The voice is crystalline throughout–in lead and lush, multi-tracked harmony–layers. The verse is delivered very delicately against light electronics. The chorus is rich, rhythmic and layered with vocals coming at the listener from every direction. A masterpiece. “Entre Ciel et Mer”, the closer of the album, is the French version of “You Did a Good Thing”. Don’t’ know if it’s the language, but it sounds more hopeful like looking outside the window in a sunny day although having pain in the heart. I recommend to listen both of the Sleepthief albums, they have always something to offer to your heart and soul.

Rating – 90/100



  1. Eurydice
  2. Desire of Ages
  3. You Did A Good Thing
  4. Just Say It
  5. The Chaffeur
  6. Tenuous
  7. Sublunar
  8. Nightjar
  9. Fire from Heaven
  10. The Metro
  11. Kiss to Savor
  12. Afterthoughts


Line Up

  • Jody Quine – Vocals & Lyrics
  • Harland – Vocals & Lyrics
  • Nicola Hitchcok – Vocals & Lyrics
  • Kyoko Bartsoen – Vocals & Lyrics
  • Kirsty Hawkshaw – Vocals & Lyrics
  • Kristy Thirsk – Vocals & Lyrics
  • Caroline Lavelle – Vocals & Lyrics
  • Roberta Harrison-Carter – Vocals & Lyrics
  • Laura Edman – Vocals & Lyrics
  • San.drine – Vocals & Lyrics
  • Justin Elswick –  Piano & Songwriting
  • Israel Curtis – Programming



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