It’s staggering to me that “Sleep Talk” is only the second release from London based producer/performer Penny Churchill, aka The Motion. Between this and their previous single “Hollow,” they’ve already demonstrated an impressive amount of confidence, skill and imagination.
In terms of production, “Sleep Talk” really is something. Rhythmically, it’s akin to a brooding lullaby. Perhaps to be expected, considering how the title invokes images of dreaming and, well, sleep. But beyond this there are ideas which run far deeper.
In a piece published over at Indie Music Women, Churchill discussed how:
The track captures the mood of being stuck in a cyclical rut of routine. The verses are slow and sonically dark, whereas the chorus is directly contrasting with a warm, surreal feeling.
This bares out. Churchill’s vocals are expressive and evocative, and perfectly suit the tonal shifts. But the lyrics themselves reveal a more direct and dramatic theme. That ‘cyclical rut of routine’ is being shared with someone else. And their relationship seems pretty damn frustrating.
‘Something on your mind is taking you away/You won’t talk about it, you won’t let it out.’ Musically, “Sleep Talk” invokes feelings of drifting off. Of skirting along the border between the waking world and dreams. But while awake, Churchill and their partner are still adrift. Connections are not being made.
Perhaps there’s some hope that this partner will let down their guard and reveal themselves. That they’ll literally talk in their sleep. This concept is utterly fascinating to me. When combined with the quality of the production and Churchill’s performance, it almost blows my mind.
I am so happy that Churchill is out there. But I’m also frustrated that “Sleep Talk” and “Hollow” are all we have right now. It’s unreasonable and selfish of me to demand more, but I want EPs, I want albums. I’m totally hooked and I can’t wait to hear whatever comes next.
You can find The Motion here: