REVIEW: Speaker For The Dead – I Hope You Have Fun While You Sleep


Artist: Speaker For The Dead
Album: I Hope You Have Fun While You Sleep
Genre: Folk/Indie
Label: Unsigned

In a time where recording is far easier than touring, it is hard to find artists that can tap into the type of poetic honesty that musicians and writers from previous generations were able to offer those in search of something pure. This is not to say those with access to a studio and no cash for a van are any less talented, there is just something about a life, even a Summer spent on the road that changes the way one perceives the world and finding the ability to share that view can unlock a world of professional possibilities. Massachusetts’ Speaker For The Dead not only taps into this flow of well-rounded consciousness, they dive in headfirst and emerge with musical journeys any audiophile should consider themselves lucky to experience.

Choosing to introduce themselves with nearly three-and-a-half minutes of instrumentation, Speaker For The Dead’s I Hope You Have Fun While You Sleep takes its sweet time getting into motion without wasting a single second. It is clear from the early moments that Speaker has evolved greatly in the few months that have past since Mastermind Greg McKillop last laid his thoughts to paper and the record soon digs into tales of life, travel, love, and loss without once wavering from the powerful musical atmosphere the opening track created.

Where many folk artists use the sonic atmosphere of a record to explore a single topic from multiple angles, Speaker For The Dead use the tone of Sleep to set a mood that they then use to explore multiple topics and themes. It seems like a simple twist on an old concept, and it is, but it works so damn well that you would swear they crafted it themselves. From the near-rockabilly vibes of “St. Peter,” to the heartfelt anthem “If You’re Dead Please Raise Your Hand,” and through the closing piano keys of “I Hope You Have Fun While You Sleep Pt. 2” Speaker holds the listener at full attention by going all out to entertain and amaze through well-woven acts of musical storytelling.

I Hope You Have Fun While You Sleep is a ride of an album that feels less like a roller coaster and more like a camping trip with your long lost best friend. It is ripe with worn feelings of love and loss, but lined with an unflinching since of hope that stays with you after each listen. If this group does not start making headlines soon, I will be stunned.

Score: 8/10
Review written by: James Shotwell

This album is available on Bandcamp. Click here to listen!

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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