Raw and aching, Perth’s Joan & The Giants have stepped forth with their haunting new track ‘Sleep Alone’. Covering feelings of unrequited passion and love, alongside motifs of longing, loneliness and fleeting memories ‘Sleep Alone’ is the band at their most challenged and vulnerable. Building with singer Grace Newton-Wordsworth’s smokey and velvety voice atop a reverberating piano stanza, ‘Sleep Alone’ grows into a hook-driven rock-ballad with a vibrant and pulsating rhythm section throughout. Joan & The Giants have undoubtedly created an anthem for all those working through spurned feelings or despondency.
Starting life on an acoustic guitar, Joan & The Giants constructed ‘Sleep Alone’ from just the bare-bones of instrumentation; more reminiscent of a country-ballad than the alternative-pop heater heard today. Once the band was added, it grew to become larger than the initial output, with producer Dylan Ollivierre (Meg Mag, Tia Gostellow, Holy Holy) partnering with the band to guide its progression. He was able to keep the band in check and push them to complete the song; having full faith in Grace Newton-Wordsworth’s sad and haunting message. Acclaimed engineer Ryan Mill (Tones & I, Angus & Julia Stone, Thelma Plum) went on to mix the track, with mastering by William Bowden (Children Collide, Empire of The Sun).
Grace had this to say on the track: “Sleep Alone’ is about feeling attached to someone that doesn’t make you feel appreciated or seen. You feel like you’re running in circles, canceling plans, waiting up for a message – all for someone who doesn’t really care. Then when they are there, it can also feel so good it’s suffocating, like it haunts the spaces you live in. The scent on the pillows, the memories that creep in the spaces around you. This song is about wanting someone so much, it’s toxic and you’d rather not sleep than sleep alone longing for someone’s touch. I love the references to the hauntings, burying secrets in a graveyard, the morgue – it all feels heavy, which is exactly what it felt like to write this song about real moments in time.
“This song was one of the most challenging songs we have ever recorded. It’s funny because I wrote it entirely on acoustic guitar, and it sounded very country. When we showed it to our producer Dylan Ollivierre, he definitely had some ideas for a different vision that was much more alt-pop produced, which was perfect for us. We recorded this song during one of the most difficult periods of my life, and I nearly gave up on it altogether, but thankfully Dylan kept checking in and encouraging us to tackle it and keep going. It’s great having a producer that has your back, and mentors you along the way. I have never thrown myself so hard into the vocals, and literally just put all my sadness and heaviness into them – it was cathartic. You’ll hear that in the screamo part at the end haha”