[sic] Magazine

Sleep Party People – I’m The Little Bunnyman

Sleep Party People is an odd little electronica project from Denmark. A character piece, if you like. Just like Santa, Sleep Party People needs helpers when he goes on tour but is actually just one person. That man is Brian Batz , plus guitar, piano and effects.
Oh, and a rabbit mask.

When it comes to extraordinary performers, Denmark already has form. The blurry indietronica of Manual may have been matched by other artists but never bettered. Efterklang has pretty much nailed down the indie/post-orchestral top spot and Mew are always terrific value in the progressive pop arena. If anything links these artists it is their eccentricity – the oodles of personality that they pack into their recordings. No mistaking a Mew song. The same goes for Sleep Party People. Welcome to a world of make believe.

I’m The Little Bunnyman is a bedroom album in more ways than one. It was created at ‘Chez Batz’, but more than that the record evokes an air of escapism. Bathed in twilight, I’m The Little Bunnyman is a bolt hole from reality, a place for dreams and fantasy. Much of the music moves with that leaden, Julie Cruise , two-step that instantly brings David Lynch to mind. But this isn’t Lynch’s world and although I have no doubt Batz could make traffic lights seem equally sinister, I simply doubt that there is anything as mundane as a traffic light or a diner in Batz world.

That rabbit mask though, that’s pretty disturbing. It doesn’t look anything like the one in Donnie Darko , but I’m feeling a similar, ominous presence when I look at Sleep Party People photos, especially when listening to the album. It isn’t frightening as such, but it is ever so slightly unnerving. The mood is set. The record delivers. ‘I’m Not Human At All’ is the archetypal Sleep Party People track. Beguiling vocals are buried beneath a mire of electronic effects. Keys ache with melancholy and feverish reverie. “I have no heart at all, inside my bones”. Ghostly stuff. ‘Third Drawer Down’ tippy toes across Mercury Rev rooftops (the whole album is a Macbook Mercury Rev) and ‘A Sweet Song About Love’ unleashes cherubs on harpsichords.

The effects are enchanting, for a while, but it is a challenge to stretch it out over an album’s length. Too much of a good thing and all that, yet I’m The Little Bunnyman is undeniably one of the most interesting finds of the year. It’s a desert course of an album – sweet, but best enjoyed in short bites at the end of the evening.