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First Glances – The Sleeplings

The Sleeplings are a prog rock trio from Aarhus. Having debuted with their 2017 album Elusive Lights of the Long-Forgotten the band gathered plenty of praise within their native Denmark. Now they return with standalone single ‘Four Hens Down’, a song which tackles the loneliness of a post-divorce household. The bands name might suggest something altogether more dreampop in leanings. The Sleeplings aren’t (dreampop) but beneath their muscular, challenging structures an inward-looking melancholy resides.

‘Oh when you leave me here.’

Fragmented, fuzzy abstractions characterise the bands lyrics. The ‘red-tail’ in the song clearly represents the she fox who visits the hen house repeatedly creating carnage. Mercilessly slaughtering birds long after satisfying her appetite, ‘red-tail’ works also as metaphor for the cruelty of the ex-lover. It is powerful imagery and The Sleeplings are content to play their Southern Gothic trump card over and over. Singer Jesper Kragh himself lives in a house built upon a 500 year old graveyard. The ‘hen house’ aspect draws upon a related true story. There were even spooky occurrences during and after the making of the ‘Four Hens Down’ video.

The video itself features the band in a beautiful, cinematic location of Horstved Woods. Flintholm, the old house appearing in the video, was built in the 1930s and is now also known as The Witches House. Abandoned and left to decay during the last 60 or so years, the house seemed to provide the perfect backdrop to the bands contemplative music. Yet drummer Steen Lauridsen complained of nervousness throughout the shoot. As Jesper goes on to say:

“When we recorded the video, only a single window frame kept the front of the house standing. Two days later I saw a photo on Instagram where the whole front had crashed, right where our drummer Steen had been sitting.”

This collision of dream-like romanticism and haunted landscapes perfectly reflects The Sleeplings music. Their name makes total sense now and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for these guys.

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