The Dawnseeker is the debut release by Sleepthief, an electronica project formed by producer and composer Justin Elswick. The CD features a who’s who of female electronica vocalists.
Elswick is a unique electronica artist. A practicing lawyer, Elswick created the project in his spare time, collaborating with vocalists such as Jody Quine, Kirsty Hawkshaw, Kristy Thirsk, Caroline Lavelle, Kyoko Baertsoen, san.drine, Nicola Hitchcock, Lauren Edman, Jerri Eckert and Israel Curtis.
What could have turned out to be an expensive vanity project, though, turned out to be an accomplished collection of melodic vocal synth music. According to Elswick, his influences include Sarah McLachlan, Enya, Adiemus and Delerium. His music reflects these influences, exploring vocal new-age/orchestral electronica territory with some world-music influences.
Throughout the CD, the music is melodic, the arrangements are lush and the vocals are gorgeous. Highlights include Desire of the Ages, which feaures Harland on vocals; Just Say It, with Kyoko Baertson; and Kiss to Savor with Jody Quine.
A surprising track choice is Berlin’s The Metro. Elswick’s take is fairly close to the original, but his relaxed pace and orchestration put the focus on the vocals rather than the beat.
While Elswick shifts from vocalist to vocalist with nearly every track, the consistency of the arrangements keep the release from feeling like a compilation package.
Sleepthief’s The Dawnseeker is an impressive debut that should appeal to fans of female vocal electronica and new age music.
Here’s the video for Eurydice, which features Jody Quine on vocals:
- Eurydice (Jody Quine)
- Desire of Ages (Harland)
- You Did A Good Thing (Nicola Hitchcock)
- Just Say It (Kyoko Baertsoen)
- The Chauffeur (Kirsty Hawkshaw)
- Tenuous (Jody Quine)
- Sublunar (Sweet Angel) (Kristy Thirsk)
- Nightjar (Caroline Lavelle)
- Fire From Heaven (Roberta Carter Harrison)
- The Metro (Jerri Eckert)
- Kiss To Savor (Jody Quine)
- Afterthoughts (Lauren Edman)
- Entre Ciel et Mer (san.drine)