Ryan O’Neal is no stranger to defying music industry norms. Rather than stay consistent with the usual every two year album release routine, the sole member of the indie rock band, Sleeping At Last, writes his own rules. He consistently writes, produces, and releases music as he goes, implementing creative projects and unique marketing structures along the way, redefining his own version of the relationship between artist and fan.
I’m extremely excited about Atlas, an ongoing series of EP’s, focusing on the “origins, emergence and experiences of life.” An excerpt from my review of the project’s debut EP, Darkness, can be found below. Check out my full review on Stereofox, along with links to listen to a few tracks and check it out for yourself! Enjoy!
One of the most incredible moments I’ve been fortunate enough to experience was during a trip to Maui. A simple drive across the island one night was one that inevitably changed my life. I had never seen the sky look like that before. It was desolate, no lights for miles and when I say there were more stars in the sky than empty black space, I mean it. The truth is, there are no words powerful enough to describe the phenomenon. Nothing will do justice to how limitless I felt looking up at that glowing canopy. It was like feeling both infinite and minuscule at the same time.
Listening to Sleeping At Last’s EP, Darkness, is like looking up at that eternal night sky. Those feelings of wonder and indescribable beauty rush through every note. Within the very first minute of listening to “Uneven Odds,” the EPs closer, I knew I had found something special.
I was immediately lost in it. Vast, spiritual undertones exposed by whimsical notes and dense layers, make you feel as infinite as the music swirling around you. I listened to it for the first time in the dark with my eyes closed, as sole member of the indie rock band, Ryan O’Neal, recommended.
Darkness explores several interpretations of its theme, guiding its audience through elements of the unknown, loss, blindness, and sorrow, but transcending with more optimistic glimpses of hope, and a surprising overall feeling of warmth. The opening track “Overture” fittingly begins with subtle acoustics accompanied only by Ryan’s sweet, yet declarative vocals. He pronounces, “The universe began with our eyes closed,” before ascending into a joyful swirl of notes and soundscapes, and eventually settling back to an acoustic fade. “I’ll Keep You Safe,” takes an airy, delicate approach that sweeps you away with a Waltz-like breeze of layered piano riffs and strings.
[As seen on STEREOFOX]