Sleep Talk on the bustling music scene in Adelaide

Sleep Talk on the bustling music scene in Adelaide

Sleep Talk
Photo: Jack Fenby
Words by Augustus Welby

Adelaide post-hardcore quintet Sleep Talk are relieved to have their debut LP, Everything In Colour, out in the world.

The band formed in 2015 and introduced themselves via the 2016 EP, Growing Pains. The single ‘New Tradition’ followed in late 2017. The song shows up on the album as well, which indicates Everything In Colour has been in the works for a while.

“[The release date] is a month off two years since we finished the album,” says lead singer Jacob Clement. “It’s definitely been a very longwinded process. It has felt like a lifetime, but we’re just stoked that it’s finally here. We’re stoked to be a bit more active, playing shows. It feels good.”

Clement’s joined in the band by guitarist and clean vocalist Lewis Tito, drummer Michael Belletti, bass player/vocalist Josh Healey, and guitarist Fraser Ray. The average age of the band members is roughly 23, which means the majority of them don’t know an adult life without Sleep Talk.

“For me and Lewis, it pretty much started as soon as we finished year 12,” says Clement. “So as soon as we both became of age was when Sleep Talk began.”

Sleep Talk are proudly from Adelaide and the record was a local production, through and through. Adelaide has long accommodated a heavy music scene and the city’s home to some prominent recording studios (such as Ghostnote), but it’s rarely spoken of as a significant music hub.

“A lot of people would see Adelaide as a sleepy city, but you don’t really understand it until you’re here and you’re walking through the city and you’re walking down one street and there’s four venues and there’s bands playing every night,” says Tito. “There’s a lot of stuff that’s happening a lot of the time.”

In the same manner as Growing Pains, Jarred Nettle produced Everything in Colour at Adelaide’s House of SAP studios.

“When we were trying to find someone who we thought would be good to go to for Growing Pains, we definitely wanted to do it locally,” Clement says. “A few names were going around and after a month or two of frustration we asked, ‘which local band from Adelaide do we all love?’ And we landed on Raccoon City Police Department, who were an old skramz/emo band.

“Every single person in Sleep Talk adored that band and they put out a debut album, which sounded fantastic. That led us to Jarred.”

Nettle employed a hands-on approach in the studio, which meshed well with Sleep Talk and led to him effectively becoming the band’s sixth member.

“He was pretty heavily involved,” says Tito. “He helped us a lot with writing. Not so much the ideas, but how to translate what we had in our heads and what we wanted it to sound like. He was able to be like, ‘How about something like this?’ and we’d listen to it and be like, ‘that was really cool’.”

After a quiet 2018, three singles – ‘Everything In Colour’, ‘Slowfade’ and ‘The Sun’ – preceded the album. They each display Sleep Talk’s signature fondness for combining moments of darkness and sonic ferocity with pleasant melodies and tonal brightness.   

Unpredictability is another distinguishing feature of the Sleep Talk sound. “It’s a by-product of all of us putting the best thing of what we think we should do into one sound,” Tito says.

“All five of us, whilst in general we do enjoy alternative and hardcore, do listen to a wide variety of things,” Clement says. “Whilst we do share common ground on music, there are different extremes that a lot of us disagree on.

“I think when it comes to us writing music cohesively, we all bring those sounds that we enjoy independently together, which is where I think that unpredictability comes from.”

Sleep Talk’s new album Everything In Colour is out now via UNFD. Give it a spin on all streaming services.