Sleepingdog is the project of Belgian Chantal Acda. [Brendan's Note: She is not just Belgian, she is actually from Hoegaarden, home of a rather lovely beer enjoyed here at EvilSponge HQ during the long hot summers in Georgia!] This is her second record, and her first for Leeds-based Gizeh Records.
In general Ms. Acda plays piano and sings lightly, but for this release she called on the assistance of Adam Wiltzie, who you might know from such bands as The Dead Texan and Stars of the Lid. Wiltzie adds strings to Acda's slow piano ballads, and he also handles the production.
The sounds that result from their collaboration can best be described as "dreamy" and "icy". Polar Life was inspired by “fairy-tale like atmosphere of Iceland”. I can't help but think that this CD would be great accompaniment for a day at the spa. For example, Sunshine Daylight brings in quite a bit of xylophone tones that could easily relax even the most high strung person.
And yet, there is also a whimsical element to Polar Bear. The songs Little One and Ardennes have percussion elements similar to The Nutcracker, which always carries whimsical childhood memories.
Overall, I give Polar Life 3 sponges. While incredibly relaxing, this isn’t something I can sing along to or dance around to. While Ms. Acda has amazing talent, she’s best suited for the soundtrack of your next yoga class.