Who? Following 2003’s Lovers, his first U.S. release, Aussie Luke Steele (aka the Sleepy Jackson) earned a Stateside reputation for doling lush sounds with Brian Wilson-esque enigmatic grandeur. And this has worked in his favor: The singer/multi-instrumentalist has received nods from Australia’s version of the Grammys in the Album of the Year, Best Rock Album, and Best New Artist categories.
What’s the Deal? The Sleepy Jackson’s sophomore U.S. release, Personality, teems with trippy, Beach Boys-inspired harmonies and blissed-out coos from boys and girls that are delicately placed atop velvety layers of strings and steel guitars. The neo-space gem’s lush symphonic sound is fully realized at the 1:25-minute mark of “Higher Than Hell”: After Steele reflects on going down to hell only to wake up in the bright eyes of his presumed love interest, he erupts with a euphoria of sprawling, mind-blowing melodies driven by a vibraphone, pedal steel, synths, and shimmery ooos.
Fun Fact: Steele culled the moniker the Sleepy Jackson from his narcoleptic former drummer. JULIA SIMON
Talk: How would you characterize Personalities‘ personality? COMMENT
On the Web: thesleepyjackson.com