The troubadour – a fascinating style of entertainment; they used to strictly be French poets who would lecture the unknowing public about life, love and politics. Now the word troubadour relates to a very gentle man or lady writing a few heart warming tunes and being generally quite good. Or at least that is the case for the Liverpool troubadour, Silent Sleep. Silent Sleep is a band when playing live some times, but is more of a pseudonym for Chris McIntosh. Silent Sleep prides himself on a horn driven backdrop for the very apathetic and contemplative sound (“See”, “I Wish It Could Be Different”) of guitars and at times haunting vocals.
It was an interesting spin on his own musical style when Chris McIntosh put the rampant electric guitars of “28 Costumes” down, and instead picked up an acoustic. It would appear that the talent was still there though it may be in a different form to what he was originally known for. But it’s not just the music that has made Silent Sleep a considerably known musical force within Liverpool.
Given the foreclosure of the bombed out church Silent Sleep filmed a video to accompany their fittingly named song “On The Steps Of The Bombed Out Church”. The video, if anything, said more about the kind of nice people that are in this band than the music they play. You could see the elation on their own faces in the video; they seem humbled by the experience of helping out a genuine cause for the people of Liverpool. It’s also clear that, given all their tireless work to reach success it has, at times, paid off.
Silent Sleep has been one of the fortunate few unsigned bands to make the trip across the Atlantic to spend some time with our transatlantic cousins. It was in 2014 when he made not only one trip but two. Silent sleep actually went on the Sundance Film Festival tour and was even on television over there. The second time saw him head over to Rio de Janeiro to play during the World Cup.
I know Chris personally; he’s a nice enough chap. He spent some time over in Germany DJing and generally living life. He still visits there occasionally to play the odd gig. But what’s surprising is that his soothing folk music has only got him a few hundred plays on Soundcloud. He’s played quite a few high profile gigs in his time. He played Liverpool International Music Festival, Liverpool Music Week, Tramlines and Liverpool Soundcity. These festival slots were all alongside bands such as The Cribs, Peace, Everything Everything and Fat White Family. Not bad for a guy who has a line such as: “You always hope that things will get better, but they only ever go and get worse”.
The use of harmonies in Silent Sleep’s melancholic arrangements gives you quite an odd feeling. The sadness of some of the lyrics, but the backing of female harmonies, makes for quite a positive sound dressed up in the black of the lyrics. This opposing feeling is all quite a bit fresh. Too long has there been the running occurrence of a man just singing sad songs over sad music. I mean sad people tend to love a shake of their own tail feathers occasionally.
With countries such as Brazil, Germany and America already under their belt, there really is, and rightfully so, a high bar set for Chris McIntosh and his band of merry men and merry women. These experiences all tied together in a nice little bow, around the gifts that are his songs means only one thing… Impending success. Keep Tabs on Slient Sheep on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.
Words by Sam Meaghan