Dave Is A Spy – Sleeping In Public With Strangers

Lyrical humour with a serious sound

Local three piece band Dave Is A Spy have just released a chirpy new record – it’s unshyly entitled Sleeping In Public With Strangers. The humorous title is a good introduction to the album, which consists of alternative rock songs that are accompanied by elements of country, upbeat and folk influences.

Steve and Kate is the first track on the four song album. The piano lead, which is quickly followed by some funky drums and trumpet, allows for an immediate cheerfulness. The lyrical content is derived from potentially comedic roots – explaining the odd nature of Steve and Kate's relationship. The song is upbeat enough to make it difficult for one to sit down whilst listening to the track. Furthermore, more depth is added to the calm vocals with the female singer joining in at times. The last verse is my favourite, with a rockier, yet melodic and passionate vocal tonality becoming prevalent. 

Overall, Worse Off maintains the upbeat nature of the preceding song, with some country influences shining through. The vocalists’ voice continuously manages to maintain a story-telling atmosphere, although remaining harmonious and intact with the acoustically rock-ish instrumentalisation of the track. Once again, there is some clear satire throughout the song, making it pleasant but also amusing to listen to. 

The album also has a slower number, that is layered with soothing vocals and an acoustic guitar pattern that reminds of the scent of rain on an unilluminated Sunday afternoon. It is easy to overhear the rather pessimistic lyrical content of Sky Mining, as the sound spurs on a self-fulfilled distant state of mind, allowing your thoughts to wander from "Oh, I should have some tea", all the way to "Where is my life going, really?"

The raw vocal sound on Geiger Counter, which sometimes almost resembles spoken word makes the folk filled song curious to listen to. Whilst the text explains the process of a melancholic night that consists of a man, some drinks, and his best friend – The Geiger Counter, it’s description leaves enough space for the imagination to truly picture the story that is being told. That is, of course, if you know what a Geiger Counter is – an instrument used for measuring ionizing radiation. The instrumentalisation as well as the vocals seem to come in such a natural way and with such ease, that it makes Geiger Counter the perfect ending track for the album. 

The deep rooted sound of Sleeping In Public With Strangers remains true an alternative rock genre, but always leaves an element of surprise, capturing layers of many different genres of music into one. The best part of this album is that it captures the listener’s attention through the vocal humour which nonetheless does not neglect the melodic atmosphere which makes a song so pleasant to listen to. The predominant upbeat atmosphere of the song may also catch the attention of a few audience’s hips, and you may find yourself dancing along to Sleeping In Public With Strangers, in – of course – public.

- Tara Zupp


Album Details

Album Title: Sleeping In Public With Strangers
Artist: Dave Is A Spy
Record Label: