According to vocalist/bassplayer Josh Haden the title of the album came from a dream, an appropriate source considering the largely sleepy nature of the record. With only a couple of louder uptempo moments, Sargent Place could happily be digested in a gently swaying hammock, teetering on the precipice of slumber.
The silky smooth ‘Love At First Sight‘ gets things underway, the deceptive aura of seduction masking an underlying desperation (“I got to know your name, I got to hear your voice”) After a minimalist beginning , the song explodes as the band flexes their musical muscles, building and building before dropping back to Randy Kirk’s lonesome synth.
Brushes and splashes of violin accompany Haden’s croon on ‘The Fighter‘, another placid number seemingly at odds with the bellicose nature of it’s title. Meandering briefly from the ambient drift is the upbeat optimism of ‘It Could Be Heaven‘ and the record’s “rock” moment ‘Sunday Morning‘, featuring heavier drums and the rare appearance of distorted guitar.
Towards the end a few simplistic yet effective acoustic tracks get a look in. ‘To Be A Man‘ and ‘In My Soul‘ rely on little more than a tenderly caressed guitar and vocals as does album closer ‘The Waking Song‘ (“every time I try to wake its time to go to sleep, every time I try to sleep its time to wake up”). This is an apt conclusion to a very peaceful journey.
‘Sargent Place‘ is an album that will get a lot of late night spins. Consistantly mellow and comprising of lengthy songs it is just on the cusp of perhaps going too long. For the most part though, it is a soothing and enjoyable ride. Pleasant dreams…