CD Review: “I’ll Never Sleep Again” by Birds & Batteries
Artist: Birds & Batteries
Album: I’ll Never Sleep Again
Genre: Americana/Alt-Country, Electronic/Electronica, Indie Rock, Rock/Pop
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If you can listen to Birds & Batteries’ new release I’ll Never Sleep Again on a warm evening, preferably while riding a bicycle, please do so. If you can pass a girl wearing a flowered skirt and a man with a Grandfather time beard playing guitar on his porch, that would be even better. The twangy drawl of Mike Sempert and his 70s style rock oozing with thick layers of synth begs for a hot summer evening.
A tolerable rendition of Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” sets the easy pacing of the album, though thankfully Sempert’s writing has a quirkier, more modern edge that saves the album from being too much of a throwback to the past. Like Young, Sempert is a story teller, offering up observations on transitions in “Turnstyle”: “Graduation was bleak, and I was drunk enough to speak / So I offered you a haircut; your Mohawk was looking sad enough;” and recounting “the sadness of polar bears and the ecstasy / Of breaking and entering,” in “Ocarina.” Although at times the album borders on being sappy, like on “Humanization” (“humanization, oh yeah, humanization) overall, I’ll Never Sleep Again is a sweet summer treat.
- Review submitted by Grace Blasco.