Review: Blue Canopy – ‘Sleep While You Can’ EP

by | Mar 9, 2021 | BandCamp, Reviews, Singles, Videos

Blue Canopy released a psych pop EP titled Sleep While You Can, their second in eleven months. The three songs on this EP cross between dream pop and a technical psychedelic sound. Alex Schiff is the artist behind Blue Canopy, with the help of a small cadre of musicians. Schiff is particularly joined by Patrick J Smith of A Beacon School. Schiff is not new to music; he played keys in Modern Rivals, an indie band that shared stages with Black Keys and Ra Ra Riot.

A new father, Alex explains that focus of the EP is about, “Exploring the often unspoken anxiety related to having a child and what that means for losing the past version of one’s self” (source).

Looking closely at Motovun, the production is very clean. This is particularly true about Alex Schiff’s vocal mix. His voice is EQ’d with a high pass filter that carves out the lower frequencies of his voice (I’m guessing 300 Hz), along with a boost around 2 kHz (to my ears, at least). There’s a repeated quarter note delay, and a delayed half note reverb that washes out on the left. This adds both texture and a slight percussive feel. In the second verse as more instruments come in, the repeated delay gives way to a chorus which thickens his voice so that it doesn’t get lost in the percussive guitar and synth notes.

They came for you
One last time
I see you, I hear you, I know

Blue Canopy – Motovun (BandCamp)

The drums are played live by Alex, and are close mic’d. He knows how to sit back and only provide the kick, and when to come in with a driving beat and tom fill. They sit inside the mix, never overwhelming the song. The synths provide both a patterned lead melody, and atmospheric tones. Patrick J Smith adds layers of electric guitar that help build a sensation of movement and urgency.

Psych pop is most predominant in Little Tourist. The song repeats an ambient vocal reminder, “Your mother knows. The father knows.” On this song, Alex plays a grooving near-instrumental, adding layers of synths and vibey keys with saxophone. The drums and bass are saturated, while a cleaner bass line match an arpeggiated synth melody.

Banji is a radio-friendly dream pop song that is very easy to sing along with. In this song, the production is the most straight forward: dreamy clean guitars, trailing reverb on vocal layers that are rich with harmonies; a patterned synth washes repeatedly from the right to left ear, a driving beat with fun percussive sounds, and a baseline that provides a grooving counter melody.

There’s nothing to fear
So wipe away those tears
You should know love is all around you
You should know love is all around

Blue Canopy – Banji (BandCamp)

Sleep While You Can is a great EP whose only crime is it clocks in at 9:28. These songs are on repeat regardless.

Blue Canopy links:

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