The Los Angeles based progressive rock band known as Earthsleep has a new single, “Slashes [//////]”, dropping today and an album on the way. It goes without saying we will be seeing more of them throughout 2018.
At first listen it’s easy to draw comparisons to 90’s acts like Smashing Pumpkins, Garbage, and Pixies. And let me be clear, that is in no way a bad thing! For those of us that have the inate yearning for music to be “what it used to be” this band is a must listen.
Their influences and storytelling are leading to creating something we don’t see enough of anymore, music with deeper meaning.
I got a chance to speek with Cindy and Jonathan about what their new single means to them:
“Slashes [//////]” is a metaphor using light to describe my Bipolar Disorder. I want to say I wrote this poem initially in 2009, long before I was in this band. When Jonathan showed this song to me this I heard the drive in the main riff, the abstractness of the structure, the way delicateness carefully strung together wrapping the fury. It felt right to apply that poem here.”
“With the words I was trying to create this visual sense of duality linking the concepts of day and night, dark and light, and good and evil both within nature and within the individual. “The light of the day tripped quick onto the night,” is about the fleetingness of it all, the way it’s all so fickle, the balance in the imbalance. “The light of the day was sipped up by an energetic straw”; this line kind of personifies this invisible driving force powering all of these universal laws. What unmentioned current is sipping the day away causing the night? I just picture this cloak of light being drunk away to unveil this curtain of darkness. I mean throughout the song light is representing the good in me, the passion, the childlike wonder. The dark is everything ugly in me- the suffering I have sustained and in turn inflicted upon others. “Stole its heat like a leach”; here is talking about how the evil tends to drain it out of me again. I have my moments of comfort but I am always thrust back into misery. It all happens so fast, I’m sure with everyone, with everything. Life is so unpredictable, but for myself? It’s the only life I know. What a mess.”
“I wrote this poem years ago primarily concerning my experience with Bipolar Disorder, but it isn’t my only means of mental/physical suffering. To pain, I am no stranger. To name a few more of my afflictions: OCD, ADHD, Borderline Personality Disorder, a bone tumor on my femur in my hip area, polycystic ovarian syndrome, thyroid disease, a deformed urethra, gallstones…. So, yeah, I find it hard to tiptoe around the constraints of standard American societal fantasy’s standards. Actually, impossible.”
“I have been struggling for years through this poor healthcare system, attempting to get a surgery to have my bone tumor removed that has been causing me major issues since I’ve been 16 that seem to worsen every year. I have Medi-Cal. I had good insurance growing up. I will straight up tell you that the access to treatment with solid insurance is no where near equivalent to the treatment received by Medi-Cal patients. It is atrocious. It is filled with incompetence. I am grateful I have it as opposed to nothing, but I have the nerve to want more for my country. With all the gluttony in this place, I have sound reason to believe we have and can pull the resources to create better healthcare for all our people. There are times I lay there at night scared as hell, in pain, like a wounded wolf, bone tumor searing confused by the pain and thinking I’m dying. I have been sick for years. There are people sicker than me without help, without the energy or knowledge to battle insurance companies with their last drop of strength. I want a better medical system. Not just for me. For everyone. This country has the resources to do that. But it won’t. Lives are ruined and continually lost. Thrown away. If my country does not respect my life, I find it hard to respect my country. I’m not complaining for sympathy, I’m complaining for solidarity. This is the dark. It’s inside me. And it’s outside of me. In our society. Look at our leader. Dark. There is a lot of pain here. I feel it”
“THE NIGHT WON’T LET ME GO!”
“But you know? With all of this hell I don’t think I’d change it if I could. I sure as shit wouldn’t ask for it but it’s my burden to carry. This is what the universe has given me. It is hurting me but it drives me. It compels me to create. To write this. To talk to you. To be human is suffering and that’s quite beautiful. That’s where the light comes in. If I’m going to keep living it’s really going to hurt. I have struggled immensely with suicidal ideation since I can remember. I have to find light. I seek it. Thirsty, I desperately hunt all that I love in this world. I have to run full speed toward that which makes me want to live or I simply won’t want to. I have to wake up and start that quest new every single day. So you have all this dread surrounding you tied together with little pleasant things like the way the sun sparkles on the water, a cool chord progression, her smile, whatever it is. It’s enough; “one colorful thing in a whole fucked up void can do the trick.”
“All these thoughts to me were sonically embodied in Jonathan’s guitar as far as I’m concerned. So. I put the words there. And there you have it, “Slashes [//////]”. I could spell out the rest but it’s more poetic to keep you guessing. We are infinitely grateful to anybody who connects to our art.”
Listen to Earthsleep’s brand new track “Slashes [//////]” below:
“The light of the day was sipped
up by an energetic straw,
which stole its heat like a leach
The light of the day tripped quick onto the night.
The lack of colour
in the absence of light
was like a flood of shadow
and I was dwelling on
constraints of the dark
when I saw it.
I saw…something glitter.
Snaps of sparkles
and I couldn’t have been,
couldn’t have been more thrilled.
I loved the likes of light. I loved the likes of color.
I love the likes of light
The visible light spectrum in
It’s entirety showed up sporadic,
One colorful thing
In a whole fucked up void can do the trick.
I loved the likes of light.
And so the sun fell
And I no longer see my shadow
The dark is in me now
How can I let go
With everything I know?
THE NIGHT WON’T LET ME GO!!!
The light of the day tripped quick onto the night.
Tripped quick onto the night”