Performance CreditsSleepthief Primary Artist
Caroline LaVelle Cello,Vocals
Kirsty Hawkshaw Vocals
Kristy Thirsk Vocals
Joanna Stevens Vocals
Zoe Johnston Vocals
Vic Levak Guitar
Roberta Carter Harrison Vocals
Jody Quine Vocals
Joshua Aker Guitar
Coury Palermo Vocals
Technical CreditsRuss Ballard Composer,Lyricist
Caroline LaVelle Composer,Lyricist
Kenneth Harrison Programming
Kirsty Hawkshaw Composer,Lyricist
Kristy Thirsk Composer,Lyricist
Joanna Stevens Composer,Lyricist
Zoe Johnston Composer,Lyricist
Jody Quine Composer,Lyricist
Coury Palermo Composer,Lyricist
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Labyrinthine Heart based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Labyrinthine Heart strikes an inspiring "chord" -- uplifting, beautiful, and at times relaxing...other times go go go / move it / move it / move it, motivational -- emotionally and intellectually. The common thread of ethereal vocals and beautiful melodies and lush arrangements are what forms a cohesive thread from track to track. Labyrinthine Heart features amazing vocalists: Kirsty Hawkshaw, Kristy Thirsk, Jody Quine, Caroline Lavelle, Zoë Johnston, Coury Palermo, Joanna Stevens, Roberta-Carter-Harrison. Here are my IMPRESSIONS, thoughts, mental images that come to mind as I listen to each track: 1. Here I Confess (ft. Joanna Stevens) A gentle voice rises, quietly at first. Voices build steadily as the confessor is drawn into the light by the sound of a harp. Reaching upward, the confessor is lifted by angels, voices soaring. Hearts ascend effortlessly toward a lofty mountain glen. In the shadow of a magnificent cathedral, chimes announce a welcoming procession of kindred-spirits, transfixed by orchestral strings, manifested in brilliant pillars of light. 2. World Gone Crazy (ft. Coury Palermo) Pensive, steady, bass, drives rhythm forward as round arpeggios denote mindful lucidity--a balance of stead-fast purpose and child-like fascination...openness. A fond memory. Chords progress, clear voices build in unison and harmony, giving way to unbridled elation... Strings... Guitar.... Piano... A veiled heart--hints of vastness. Drums. Falling. Uncertainty. The retreat--comfort, safety. Reflection. Strings. Searching... 3. Skimming Stones (reprise) (ft. Kirsty Hawkshaw) Enchanting, ALLURING VOICE, calling from afar--destiny... BEAUTIFUL MELODY superbly vocalized. Gentle harp, strings, guitar--longing... A heart races. Celestial ahh's--elation... Strings, guitar, piano--comfort... Celestial ahh's--trust... Purpose, responsibility--focus... Destiny. 4. Labyrinthine Heart (ft. Jody Quine) The stage is set by a reminiscence of muted sitar, bassy udu, tremolo kanoun, gentle oud, Celtic bouzouki, tinkling glockenspiel-like bells and harp -- all craftily woven together. ANGELIC PURE VOICE of milk and honey, cello, harp, guitar--soothing, consoling, healing. Introspection. Harp, bells, horns, concert bass, guitar, cello--hope, daylight, sustaining, freedom -- soon. 5. A Kind of Magic (ft. Zoë Johnston) An opening of light, staccato guitar, horn intervals, and classic Sleepthief rhytmic, tonal, arpeggios. Rich vocal harmonies...surrounding, embracing, protecting, captivating, enchanting--MAGIC. A warm place, a heart of gladness--expressed vocally, musically. 6. A Cut From The Fight (ft. Kristy Thirsk) Classic rolling, rhythmic arpeggios, old-school squares, and staccato sines, GALORE. Toes-a-tapping and heads-a-bobbing, while smooth as ice vocals propel our protagonist forward--right out the door. "You can go left I will go right." A slice out of life, indeed! (continued--see part 2)
I can't stop listening to this thing. Fans of Enigma, Delerium, Enya, Blue Stone, and similar ambient artists will be blown over by this relative newcomer. I believe Justin Elswick, the mastermind behind Sleepthief, has only been releasing music for a few years (2 CD's I think), but the depth of emotion springing from this sound is incredibly powerful. The female and male vocals that are found here are rich and potent. I love electronica and ambient but confess sometimes disappointed by either the ultra 'fluffy' female voices or the stilted lyrics, but not this time. The singers wrote (or co-wrote) their lyrics with amazing maturity and a playfulness. No one is taking themselves too seriously here, yet some subject matter, a lover called to war on Here I Confess in particular, is gracefully human. The many songs of love found here are just easy on the ears and the mind. You won't get cavities from excessively sweet balladeering-- the sentimentality is refined and toned down.
In summary, the music on Labyrinthine Heart is inspiring, motivational, emotionally, and intellectually well-rounded. With this release, Sleepthief, delivers a thought-provoking sonic "catalyst" to open a window into the soul. In a word, Labyrinthine Heart is simply AMAZING. (Track-by-track "impressions" continued) 6. A Cut From The Fight (ft. Kristy Thirsk) Classic rolling, rhythmic arpeggios, old-school squares, and staccato sines, GALORE. Toes-a-tapping and heads-a-bobbing, while smooth as ice vocals propel our protagonist forward--right out the door. "You can go left I will go right." A slice out of life, indeed! 7. Rainy World (ft. Caroline Lavelle) Pulsating, rhythmic, panoramic chord progressions, alternating with semi-syncopated beats. Smooth, sultry, SUMPTUOUS, hypnotic vocals. The melody is infectious--"can't get it out of my head," with twisty little turns and subtle in-line key changes, delving deeply into that holy grail of all musical erogenous zones. MASTER cello rifts and intervals--amazing strings all around. Yes, the addiction to artfully crafted musical delights is well and truly gorged on this masterpiece! But there's more! The lyrics are pure and unequivocal GENIUS, with an artful level of ambiguity, yet resonating on SO MANY levels, and a POWERFUL, direct parting blow. Whoah! GOOSE-BUMPS. 8. Ariadne (the Dividing Sea) (ft. Joanna Stevens) Child-like opening vocal, cresting on top of beautifully arranged strings, guitar, and piano and horns. LUSH, well-balanced orchestrations. BEAUTIFUL melody telling a moving story that is sure to resonate as much as it evokes a certain empathy for the protagonist. 9. Reason Why (ft. Zoë Johnston And Coury Palermo) Soft, understated ethereal organ, and piano lead into the RICH vocals, building toward alternating solo and layered harmonies. Exquisite in its simplicity, this POWERFUL duet strikes a chord both musically and emotionally. 10. Fire King (ft. Jody Quine) Snappy beats, a bouncy bass-line, and crystal clear ANGELIC VOCALS, drive the verses. The opening phrases of the chorus are irresistibly catchy. 11. Reversals (ft. Kristy Thirsk) Deep slow pulsing bass, beneath moving intervals, leading to guitar and classic Sleepthief bassy-arpeggio, cast a mildly eerie tone in the opener and verses, reflecting troublesome realities of everyday life. The chorus resonates, a message of hope and encouragement to remain vigilant, because "Our love will see us through all times" -- adjust that attitude and make your own REVERSAL. 12. I Know There's Something Going On (ft. Roberta Carter-Harrison) Driving strings and über-throb-bass-line, keep it going on in this superbly orchestrated and deftly vocalized DANCE track. Very nicely done!
Relax, it really is as good as the first one.....!!, August 25, 2009 I won't pretend I wasn't a touch apprehensive, as a debut album the quality of The Dawnseeker would always be a tough act to follow as like the first Conjure One and Balligomingo releases is up there in my top 10 favourites ever and whilst I do love both their 2nd albums they never quite reached the same soaring heights but Labyrintine Heart could well be joining the Dawnseeker up there pretty soon. The digipak packaging with it's atmospheric 'Amadeus' inspired images a perfect introduction to the music. Both Joanna Steven's tracks with their multi-layered vocals have such a wonderful Celtic, Enya-like, quality to them and are so sweeping you'd think there was a full orchestra in the studio, 'Here I Confess' is so very lush and 'Ariadne' is equally haunting. Knowing 'World Gone Crazy' so well by now I was expecting it to stand out so much but it fits right in there as a stirring segue to 'Skimming Stones (reprise)' where the addition of classical guitar and the interplay between the guitar, piano and harp is genious - with the angelic choral vocals this has the feeling of a classic Christmas song almost. Next two tracks are my favourites - the title track with Jody Quine is both moving and evocative with the koto and melancholic violin and Zoe Johnston's voice on `Kind of Magic' as always is so beautiful and haunting. Consequently I wasn't expecting the Yazoo/Trans X stylings and live drums of `Cut From the Fight' but it's amazing to hear Kristy Thirsk deliver this slice of 80's dare I say `pop'? It certainly snapped me out of my reverie.... 'Rainy World' is so lyrical and almost like a Parisian tango with the accordion and strings passages. If one of the major labels picked up 'Reason Why' and gave it to a couple of major artists for a duet I could see this becoming a major success...I love it and Coury Palermo and Zoe Johnston are a match made in heaven. After letting loose again on Fire King (with a bigger intro this could have so easily opened the album), 'Reversals' is another classic Kristy performance and so haunting and atmospheric. And finally Roberta Carter-Harrison takes on Living on Video meets Frida on the Russ Ballard classic 'I Know Theres Something Going On' and against my better judgement as a fan of the original I really love it - the chunky strings and electronic beats make a euphoric end to the album......... Justin Elswick really has succeeded beyond my wildest expectations and I can rest easy knowing that I will be able to listen to this album repeatedly as I did the Dawnseeker and it will no doubt grow as I discover new depths in the music and lyrics.