by Chris Familton
On 2009’s Soil Creatures, Melbourne singer-songwriter Paddy Mann (aka Grand Salvo) impressively blended poetry, folk and classical music into a delicate work about life’s intricacies. Three years and a short-lived relocation to Berlin later, and he’s returned with his finest work to date.
Slay Me in My Sleep is an ambitious concept album about an old lady and a young boy who breaks into her house and falls in love with a photo of her as a child. Themes of love, memory and the passage of time abound and Mann has cleverly woven the storyline into the long descriptive song titles that lead the listener into the album’s narrative (‘Two cups sit on the table, the kettle is on and the bread is toasting. As the sky lightens she falls for a third time’ is one of many wordy examples). Musically, Slay Me in My Sleep is rich and ornate. These are songs in the traditional sense yet they feel linear in form by often eschewing repeated choruses. A multitude of instruments – recorders, piano, horns and celeste – only add to the album’s organic feel.
Delicately crafted, and with a depth of emotion and beauty, Slay Me in My Sleep is surely one of the most unique albums to come out of Australia this year.
Slay Me in My Sleep is out now on Preservation
this review was first published on Drum Media