Snakadaktal have become a band that you would have to struggle to ignore. Not only do they have a fantastic name, but they’ve become a sort of staple in the Australian festival circuit having played at Meredith Music Festival, Falls Festival, Laneway Festival and recently Splendour in the Grass. Their debut album Sleep in the Water aptly depicts why this band have become such a fan favourite.

Showing a growing maturity that naturally moves away and forward from their previous EP, Snakadaktal, first song ‘Fall Underneath’ feels like you’ve dived underwater, isolating yourself from all the distractions of the world on the surface. Even now as I write this, the wind is ripping at the trees outside and yet with this playing the inside of my house feels incredibly tranquil and still.

Describing it as an album “about our emotional and physical connection to water” Snakadaktal have created something that does indeed make me think of the ocean, or even just being underwater. It’s not just the song titles such as ‘Deep’ or ‘Feel the Ocean Hold Me Under’ or the obvious use of imagery on the album packaging but the sound of the songs themselves. The guitar ripples over drums and synths that echo almost endlessly, Sean Heathcliff and Phoebe Cockburn’s vocals travel over it all in a breathy and delicate simplicity.

‘Isolate’ conjures images of crashing waves with Heathcliff and Cockburn’s joint vocals acting like the calm before each wave comes to shore, while ‘Too Soon’, with its opening muted drumbeat is every bit as serene as a still lake. For me it is ‘Sun II’, a song that sounds like a wistful love song, that shines on this album, but that’s not to discredit the remainder. Sleep in the Water is a beautifully architected album that shows the growing talents of a band who have really only just started and yet have already achieved so much.


Dee Dee Magee

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