There's a tonne of new music released every Friday and wading through it to find your next favourite album is an almost impossible task. 'The Music' team get it and we're here to help, bringing you our Album Of The Week each Friday. Here's why Alice Ivy's album 'Don't Sleep' gets our pick.
We're sure that you, like us, couldn't wait for the release of Alice Ivy's (aka Annika Schmarsel) new album.
For the Melbourne artist's second outing she presents Don't Sleep, an album that The Music reviewer Cyclone describes as "a thrilling excursion"; a sentiment that we wholeheartedly agree with.
It's a star-studded affair too, with Schmarsel recruiting some of the country's finest talent - Thelma Plum, Ecca Vandal, Ngaiire, Montaigne, SAFIA's Benjamin Joseph and more - for the album.
What we're saying...
Review by Cyclone
"Alice Ivy (aka Annika Schmarsel) should establish herself as a star Antipodean producer to match The Kite String Tangle or Flume with her assured sequel to 2018's auspicious I'm Dreaming. On Don't Sleep, the Melburnian instrumentalist, producer and auteur demonstrates her brilliant instincts as a curator. She brings in even bigger and buzzier feature vocalists and collaborators – still largely homegrown – such as Thelma Plum, Odette and Ngaiire (though Bertie Blackman returns for two songs, one the unexpectedly beat-switching Sweetest Love with Montaigne). Crucially, Schmarsel's sound has advanced.
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"Don't Sleep is closer to an art mixtape than the traditional dance music 'producer' album – and it's a thrilling excursion. It takes in those triple j-friendly singles like the hazy In My Mind with Ecca Vandal, but the new tracks are the most revelatory."
Continue reading here.
What they're saying....
Here, Alice Ivy shares an exclusive open letter to her fans about Don't Sleep.
Dear Beautiful People That Have Listened To My Music,
I can’t believe I’m finally here talking about the release of my second album, Don’t Sleep (out now!!)
Let me take you back to a time about two and a half years ago when my debut record I’m Dreaming came out. Most of that album was written and recorded in my home studio in Brunswick. I was so fresh to the industry I was barely conscious of half of the things involved in putting an album out. It was very much the “honeymoon” period of my career. Anything and everything that happened exceeded my expectations (namely because I didn’t have any!), plus I didn’t really know how that record was going to be received in all honesty. Thankfully, people seemed to like it!? The phone started ringing and I was invited on back-to-back tours with The Jungle Giants, Flight Facilities and Vera Blue! I got invited to play South By Southwest, a HEAP of music festivals (at year’s end I think I played nearly 100 shows?). To my absolute surprise, the album was long-listed for the 2018 Australian Music Prize. It’s safe to say I’m Dreaming opened the door to a lot of new opportunities for me.
Before I started working on my new album, Don’t Sleep, I sat down at my kitchen table and wrote a wishlist of dream collaborators. For the next two years, throughout all of my touring commitments (and whenever I had any spare time) my manager and I reached out to artists from that list and wherever possible scheduled in studio time, interstate and overseas writing trips. Shockingly, so many of my wishes came true! Thelma Plum, Ngaiire, Ecca Vandal, Ben from SAFIA!? I’m still processing it all now! Going into all of these sessions and travelling around the world really allowed me to grow as a producer. I began to experiment with different songwriting methods, the rawness of sounds and work with a broader range of voices. I’ll be forever grateful for the many opportunities I’ve had to write with some of the most talented artists around the world.
Don’t Sleep features an abundance of voices that deserve to be heard (and are generally not heard from enough!). I honestly feel blessed to have been able to create a platform where their voices can be heard through my music. As the saying goes, “It takes a village…”, especially when you work collaboratively as I do, so I want to take this opportunity to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who’s been on the journey with me.This album is so special to me, I would love for people to listen to it from start to finish and immerse themselves in the different voices that combine together to make this body of work. I hope it moves them like it moves me!
Alice Ivy xo
Listen to Don't Sleep below!