While this record was released in 2009, I only became aware of the band recently. Sleep Slid In is a two-piece, The Rose Phantom and Whitney Willow. Their music sounds both familiar yet estranged, seemingly steeped in a Goth-like existence.
There are points within “The Open Diary” where a melody here or a moment there is eerily akin to Sisters of Mercy, yet while Sisters relies on much more of an industrialized alternative feel, Sleep Slid In uses more of a synthesized keyboarding to entrance their listeners.
At other points I would find myself comparing them to Black Tape for a Blue Girl, yet here we have a case where SSI’s synth’s contrast Black tapes almost choral mood, comprised of softened sounds and whispers.
There are other bands that you’ll find yourself recalling as you listen to this record, this I’m sure of. However, in each case there will be a major difference in sound that will pull SSI apart from whomever you compare them to. SSI has uniqueness on their side, in that you don’t realize how diverse they actually are with a single listening alone. With each subsequent play, you’ll begin to separate Whitney Willow’s alluring, almost uplifting vocals with the Omni-present ethereal feel to The Rose Phantom’s.
The Open Diary is a record that harbors emotion and energy, regardless of their positive or negative vibe, and harnesses them into creations that the audience will either resonate with or find themselves and their personal situations contrasting against, in essence providing a point of reference.
The sounds on the album are dual-haunting, you’ll find an ever present mortal haunt that becomes mesmerized by the sweet-like sounding melodies emanating from Whitney Willow. The second style of haunting on The Open Diary is one of paranormal eloquence, where the vocals seem to arrive from some other dimension, from some alternate existence, that is made rational, through a melodic sort of timeline.
A friend stopped in while I was finishing up the listen prior to this review and made an interesting observation regarding the second half of The Open Diary’s 10 tracks. He said they have an echoic nature to them that seemingly resonates from a darkened chasm, which is then filtered through a harmonious void. While my friend may have more of a poetic way to his descriptions than most, I think his observation does a fairly accurate job in detailing that feeling you know but just can’t grasp. In addition it offers an explanation to the subtle eeriness that flows in and between each song.
I’d also like to make one more metaphor. For the most part, during Sleep Slid In’s debut release, there exists an ambience I can only liken to those moments where you first awake in the morning. I’m sure most already picture the image I’m presenting, however, for those who don’t, I’m referring to that initial waking, where your body is asleep yet your mind is slowly coming back from slumber. You’re in a place where you are technically awake yet the sounds around you are not quite focused as of yet, they are more resembling of a haziness, where thought and dream are seemingly merged and wherewithal is more blurred than it is lucid.
As far as lyrical content and meaning behind the words, I feel that the band describes this better than I ever could, as they write the following commentary, taken from the discography page on their website, http://www.sleepslidin.com:
To love is to live. To breathe is to die. When you sleep you find the road that leads to life: love and fear. Whether you choose to walk down the long stretch of road to find the answers that you seek is entirely up to you. To hear the lush sounds of the seeking heart, to face the fear of a lonely life-all of which has been captured by two moody hearts. Whether it be writings of demons, true love, the dark corner of life, lust, passion and perception-it’s not untrue, nor forced. It is “The Open Diary”. A personal quest for the truth behind life, death, beauty, darkness and light.
The Open Diary(2009)
1. Demon Skin
2. Sacrifice Season
3. Feelings of Truth
4. The Wind
6. Dead Love
7. Second Sight
8. The Key
9. Inside My Heaven
10. The Open Diary
The Open Diary posses a similar yet different experience to it, what Sigmund Freud would call Uncanny. It’s a unique sound that won’t be for everyone, but realistically what style of music really is? I would recommend visiting their site, listen to each song and see for yourself, exactly what experiences Sleep Slid In’s Open Diary holds for you.