Sleeping With Sirens – ‘How It Feels To Be Lost’

By Renette van der Merwe

Sleeping with Sirens had been teasing a heavier sound on social media for a while prior to the release of lead single ‘Leave It All Behind’. Little did we know what a true return to form it would be, especially in today’s musical climate where albums no longer need to feel cohesive and one or two heavier icebergs can sit comfortably in a sea of pop and electronic tracks. ‘How It Feels To Be Lost’ isn’t one of those. The guitar, like a buzzsaw, chugs out this dirty little riff while the bass is humming and low, a direct contrast to front man, Kellin Quinn’s recognisable tenor. And just like that, the tone for the sixth album is set and quite honestly, it could slot in nicely alongside the first two records, ‘With Ears to See and Eyes to See’ and ‘Let’s Cheers To This’.

Moving away from the more commercial sound of ‘Feel’, ‘Madness’ and ‘Gossip’ doesn’t mean that it’s lost all such sensibilities; tracks like ‘Agree To Disagree’ and ‘Blood Lines’ are littered with hooks, soulful melodies and electronic elements. The difference on this record though, is that the offset of screaming, metalcore guitar riffs and post-hardcore song structure overpowers the overall pop vibe and pushes it further into moshpit territory. What they’ve done on ‘How It Feels To Be Lost’ is to replicate the formula of early Sirens songs like ‘If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn’ by marrying 90s r&b, soul and pop influences with heavy as balls instrumentation. 

‘Ghost’ and ‘PS Missing You’ are so akin to that 2010/2011 sound that it wouldn’t be surprising if they were written at the time and just didn’t make the final cut for album track listing. ‘Another Nightmare’ on the other hand is heavily imbued in effects that might feel a little further removed, however when you zoom out and look at the album as a whole, it works really well. 

Recorded at MDDN Studios, Good Charlotte’s Madden twins provided more than just a space for SWS to lay down tracks. Benji stepped up for vocal duties on ‘Never Enough’ and the result is pretty special. Their voices work well together, as it did when Quinn featured on Good Charlotte’s ‘Keep Swinging’, making this a particularly strong track that’ll most likely become a fan favourite. 

‘How It Feels To Be Lost’ is anything but. It’s a well rounded album that tells the story of a band who have not only progressed over time, but who have tried different sounds and techniques, melting them all down before forging something quintessentially them.


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