Sleepy Slap’s Bye reminds me of the last gasp of summer. You’ve sung one last song with your camp friends – who you’ve grown so close to in just a few short weeks that they’ve become your siblings – and you’re on a bus barrelling back to the city. The friendship bracelets wrapped around your wrists are sturdy and hold their vivid colours. Soon they will fade, fray, and eventually fall off but for now they are the symbol of a heartfelt bond.
A departure is at the heart of the EP. This is bandmates Haley Sheppard and Kyha Craig saying goodbye to each other because “Haley is leaving for a year… to England… across an ocean.” The songs are quiet expressions of love: whispers in the dark, a reassuring hug, the dancing twin emoji.
“I’ll be your teammate, your best friend. You and me will always win,” the pair sing in “Teammate.” This love is magnified in Haley’s song “My Bandmate Kyha.” “I mean this,” Haley says before beginning her endearing ode. The line that gets me is: “when I think of your mom I smile because she raised you so well. I can tell she is so proud.”
“Fool” is sonically unlike the rest of the acoustic guitar and ukulele based EP: it’s piano-rooted and shrouded by a twirling but subtle electronic beat. It’s pensive and naturally mournful but the self-doubt that fills much of the track dissolves by the end thanks to the support of a friend: “You say that you think I am cool and I feel like less of a fool.”
“Every time we say goodbye, I die a little,” says the old song. But you’ll be back together soon. Living once again.
Top Tracks: “Fool”; “My Bandmate Kyha”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)