The Mark of Excellence

Sleeping States

There The Open Spaces

> > Oct 2007

Sleeping States - There The Open Spaces
By Chris WhibbsI want to say this album made me cry. It didn’t but I came close. I could feel the pressure behind my eyeballs pushing my maudlin, salt-tinged droplets from their reservoir but, alas, the expected deluge never quite happened. However, this just might be the appropriate reaction to what is, hands down, one of the most beautiful and gorgeously composed pieces of music I’ve heard this year. Coming from the mind of Markland Starkie, a low 20s, London, UK resident, almost everything was played, arranged and sang by this young man. Essentially, he’s a British version of Beirut without the Eastern European influence. Inspired by a recent move to London, this debut exudes urban isolation. The incredible "Rivers” reeks of misplaced hope, while standout track "Contact Lunacy” floats in an instrumental haze of strummed guitar and ambient electronics before Starkie chimes in with his haunting falsetto. Though it may feel claustrophobic, this album shines because the fear is actually of the opposite — the space is too much and the choices too many. The crippling fear of the future is what is represented and, joyously, it has never sounded so lush and stunning.
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