Dayseeker

Drenched in neon-pink-and-purple strobe lights and tinged with a pastel post-hardcore vibe that will sit somberly in your gut, the fourth full-length from Dayseeker, Sleeptalk, will undoubtedly make it on to a number of AOTY lists.

Following 2017’s Dreaming Is Sinking /// Waking Is Rising and the subsequent post-hardcore formula that Dayseeker have consistently delivered, Sleeptalk is a warm and welcome release to higher ground.

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Shedding the monotonous skin of the standard post-hardcore structure, fans might be a little taken aback to discover the culmination of genres that act to balance the group’s sound. Dayseeker are doing more than following along with the trend of blending genres. They’ve paved the way to something new and exciting that music has been craving for some time now.

“On the last album, there was more of a concept, and I was really proud of how that came together on the record,” Dayseeker vocalist Rory Rodriguez reveals. “I did find that I felt like it was more polarizing to our listeners. There was this complex storyline that you have to follow for 12 tracks. And I think that puts one topic into one box. With this one, I tried to get back to these topical subjects and relationships. We were trying to write about as many different topics as we could just explaining different hardships and emotional struggles.”

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Album opener “Drunk” immediately pulls listeners in with sultry waves of synth in the style of Imogen Heap before powering through the electronic add-ons into a heavy but melodic breakdown. Rodriguez has one of the most soothing and erupting vocal ranges in ‘core music, but his abilities are amplified to a greater emotional level that serves justice to the beginning track.

“Imogen Heap had this track that I listened to when I was in high school that I always really liked; it had that kind of interesting melodic effect on the vocals,” he says. “We probably had half of the album written, and there’s always a certain song that you hear and you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s the track.’ We actually reworked ‘Drunk’ probably three or four times. It was all post-hardcore, and then I realized that we were forcing it, and so we stripped it back and tried the vocal effect, and we really loved it.”

If there’s one constant worth noting throughout Sleeptalk, it’s that track by track there’s no uniformity to the placement, which will keep listeners on their toes. The vibrant layering of vocals and soft instrumentation transcends the group’s former releases, making the album a sophisticated, cohesive listening experience. 

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“We started as a post-hardcore band very early in our career,” Rodriguez says. “It’s been that way for a long time. As the years have gone on, we’d be at a show, and kids would ask us what heavy bands we listen to, and we just listen to pop. We listen to the 1975. I think on our last album before Sleeptalk, we realized we’re getting a little far out from it. It was always the melodic tracks that we were most proud of.”

“Up until now, we were scared,” Rodriguez continues. “We didn’t want to turn on our original listeners who had this idea of us being a part of something that was metal. I was like, ‘Let’s just write and try some things and be different, and they might hate it.’ We just thought it was an interesting way to captivate someone right off the bat. It’s a way to give people a slight introduction to the different styles on the album.”

From punchy tracks such as “Crooked Soul” and “The Color Black” bursting with angry, post-hardcore arrangements and lyrics to “Burial Plot” and “Starving To Be Empty,” which features Seneca Pettee, offering ambiance and a more delicate sound, Dayseeker succeed in creating a record with high energy, insurmountable depth and a sturdy structure to support their past and future musical endeavors.

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“I’ve just always admired Seneca [Pettee]’s voice and musicianship,” Rodriguez admits. “We have a lot of similarities with our writing style overall. I knew she’d be a perfect fit for that track. She actually came in sick with a scratchy throat and still somehow managed to sing everything so incredibly well. Ironically enough, I feel like her voice has a rasp and emotion to it because she was a little under the weather during recording. But that song is very personal to me. We wrote the content around a personal friend of mine struggling with an eating disorder. [It’s] easily one of my favorites on the entire album.”

The premiere single “Sleeptalk” resides as the fourth track on the album, bridging the group’s evident alt-pop structure throughout and signifying the departure from their sole post-hardcore sound. The single booms with heavy riffs, melodic harmonies and prominent ’80s synth.

“It really just felt like one of the bigger departures from a lot of our other songs,” Rodriguez says. “There was just something about it that stuck out really well. I think we subconsciously knew that it was on par with the artistic direction. This one had some of a more prominent ’80s and synthesizer feel to it that made sense to title the album after ["Sleeptalk”].”

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Sleeptalk concludes with “Crash and Burn,” a slow-burning track that erupts into a weighty breakdown. “I think the way I explained how ‘Drunk’ just had its own vibe as an opener, we felt the same about [["Crash and Burn”]n regards to it being an ender,” Rodriguez explains. “We really experimented with some different chord structuring and writing. I like to think it sets up this very haunting kind of vibe to end the record.”

Despite “Crash And Burn” concluding the album with the line “There is nothing left,” it is an extremely personal track for Rodriguez, who dealt with his mother’s battle with drug addiction growing up.

“[“["Crash and Burn” is]m the perspective of my mother ‘crashing and burning’ in terms of her relationship with me and my sisters and her marriage to my father,” Rodriguez explains. “I really wanted to try and step into her skin and reflect on what I think goes through her mind. I use the metaphor that she’s attracted to the sun and wants to touch it, but it’ll obviously incinerate her and kill everything in her life. The drugs being the reference to this bright, burning ball of energy that seems attractive, but you will disintegrate if you get close enough to it. There are nods to another song called ‘The Earth Will Turn’ that we wrote years back to tie in the content altogether.”

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From Dayseeker’s inception with their 2013 debut, What It Means To Be Defeated, to their latest release, the group’s musical growth is indisputable. Sleeptalk is an album that will absolutely skyrocket them to the top of both pop and post-hardcore playlists.

Dayseeker are currently on the road for the Pressure tour with Wage War, Like Moths To Flames, and Polaris. You can get tickets here and see dates below.

Dates:

10/02 – Grand Rapids, MI @ Elevation at The Intersection
10/03 – Detroit, MI @ Saint Andrews Hall
10/04 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
10/05 – Lakewood, OH @ Phantasy Nightclub
10/07 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theatre
10/08 – New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
10/10 – Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage
10/11 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
10/12 – Clifton Park, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall
10/14 – Columbus, OH @ Skullys Music Diner
10/15 – Louisville, KY @ Mercury Ballroom
10/16 – Saint Louis, MO @ The Firebird
10/18 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre
10/19 – Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
10/21 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
10/22 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
10/24 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
10/25 – Pomona, CA @ The Glasshouse
10/26 – Mesa, AZ @ The Nile
10/28 – Austin, TX @ Come and Take It Live
10/29 – Dallas, TX @ Tree’s
10/31 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade