I was introduced to Sleeping At Last two years ago, although I cannot recall who had the joy of introducing them to me. In any case, I am quite grateful for whoever led me into the world of Sleeping At Last. Over the past few years I have listened to this band rather consistently and have rarely grown tired of their music, which is mainly due to the fact that they have released more songs in the past two years than any other band I know. Ryan O’Neal is the singer/songwriter of Sleeping at Last and is a extremely talented one at that. I didn’t realize that O’Neal is technically the only member of Sleeping at Last until today-the band that plays at live concerts acts as a collective that he regularly plays with at those events. This band has risen through the ranks of my favorite bands and there are a few reasons for that.
- Creative and Qualitative Musicianship-It is astounding to me that O’Neal records most of these songs himself. There is so much musical depth that happens in each song and it sounds as if each instrument is being played by a person who has spent their life mastering their craft. Also, the creativity abounds in his songs! His songs certainly have a distinct sound and even tempo at times, but those qualities seem to be mere fingerprints of a musician than lack of creativity. Please listen, and you will see what I mean.
- The Abundance of Music Released-This band has come out with more music in the past two or three years than I have ever seen any band come out with. O’Neal is also creative in his production of these albums. In 2012 O’Neal took on what became known as the Yearbook Project where he released an EP each month (three songs per EP) with a new cover and new theme that corresponded to the month that EP was released in. At the end of 2012 Sleeping At Last had released 36 fresh songs! Incredible, I know. There is not one song that I do not like in the whole collection either! In addition, O’Neal just released two new EP’s entitled Atlas-one has the subtitle Light, and the other Darkness. Let me assure you that O’Neal’s artistry is no where near running out!
- Deep, Thought-Provoking Lyrical Content- This is my favorite part about this band. The lyrics have intense philosophical and even theological depth. O’Neal does a wonderful job to pack his songs with lyrics that cannot be glossed over. His songs touch on topics of identity, God, love, pride, sadness, guilt, joy, and so much more. I do not suggest that you listen to these songs if you are not in a reflective mood, and if you do listen to these songs without questioning the lyrical content you may miss most of what this band has to offer. I am always finding new meaning in their lyrics that I had never noticed before. I love that each verse is packed with thoughtful depth, which is quite rare today among the wide array of pop artists. It is sad that I sometimes find more depth in songs like these than the contemporary worship songs that are produced. If there is anything I truly appreciate about this band, it is the looking-glass that O’Neal provides through his lyrics. I really like that about this band.
If you are interested, I recommend listening to some of the Yearbook EP’s or the new Atlas EP’s! Here is a video of my current favorite by Sleeping At Last Featuring Jon Foreman! Check it out!