‘The Love You Want’ sees Sleep Token plotting course into fresh waters.
I love Sleep Token, but my biggest worry heading into their second album, the nautical-themed 12-track ‘This Place Will Be Your Tomb‘ (out September 24th) was that it would be just a re-do of what they’ve done previously. ‘Alkaline‘ was a great quintessential track for them: doing everything they nail roped down into a digestible three and a half minutes. While I like it, I definitely wouldn’t want another ten tracks of just that, ya feel me?
So thank fuck for ‘The Love You Want.’ Fluttering synths flap their wings under Vessel’s evocative voice, as the beat and instrumental slowly builds for this new ballad. Sleep Token is a vocal-focused band: their production and composition is informed by his vocals. So when Vessel’s sweeping vocal 47 seconds in arrives – “But I’m still full of the love you want. Still waking up beneath it all” – I thought everything was about to switch into some electronic-tinged prog-metalcore as they’ve done before. No such luck, and ‘The Love You Want‘ is all the better for it. Instead, it’s chilled. The band laying on thick the pianos, II’s fluid jazzy drumming, percussive electro-pop shades, bringing in more modulated synths under some hefty vocal arrangements. (There’s re-used vocal harmonies from ‘Sundowning‘ before the last chorus.) Sleep Token steadily holds the line of this lighter sound, before dropping the crunchy, bouncy djent-metalcore hammer down hard for the heavenly outro when the song’s emotional and dynamic peak can no longer be held back. An always effective blended songwriting trick that Sleep Token so often excel at.
‘The Love You Want‘ is a beautiful mood piece about drifting apart. About trying to remind your partner/ex that you’re still the love they want, that you’re still the person they originally fell for. It’s a romantically fractured song, like most Sleep Token songs, and lines like “Seems your heart is locked up and I still get the combination wrong” imply a love of the unrequited nature. Although, the “Too many swallowed keys will make you bleed internally someday” lyric in the second verse does radiate incel hints. However, there’s also understanding in this relationship not working out, understanding for the other person to move on, as per Vessel singing “Or are you simply waiting to save your love for someone I am not?”
Anyway, great track, have had it on repeat all day. Set sail on Sleep Token’s latest voyage below: