Sleep to Grow forces you to fall in love at first listen. With her sweetly harmonized vocals, Andrea Lo shows an amazing performance on the EP’s title track. As technical and efficient drums pulse underneath thoughtful, mature lyrics, the song may remind you of a cross between Radiohead and Coldplay—and that’s a compliment.
Sleep to Grow is the Belle Game’s sophomore effort. Since the Vancouver band’s debut EP Inventing Letters was released in 2009, they’ve added two new members. Rob Chursinoff (drums) and Ian Cook (bass) joined Adam Nanji (vocals and guitar), Alex Andrew (guitar and back-up vocals), Katrina Jones (piano and back-up vocals) and lead singer Lo last year. The six-piece has collectively matured as a result: the percussion track is tighter, the sound clearer, creating a more intense listening experience.
Describing themselves as a mixture of orchestral indie-pop and frenetic art-rock, the band doesn’t keep the hopeful rhythm pumping all album long—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The second and third tracks mix some experimental beats and pop-folk elements, which results in an enjoyable sound, but could use more power. “Pink Carnations” seems to be heavier and more guitar-driven, but in the end I still expected more energy. In those moments when the singer swings her voice tightly or the guitarist plays stronger chords, the Belle Game show they can stand out among other Canadian pop acts.