On Our Radar: With a rhapsodic performance from its players, Sleepcircle lets the light in on “The Knife Awaits”

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      The Leonard Cohen song, “Anthem,” has that famous lyric: “There is a crack, a crack in everything/That's how the light gets in.” It’s one of those staggeringly powerful lines that becomes a touchstone for the human experience, enduringly relevant for the universal profundity of its message: finding hope in darkness.

      The line comes to mind when listening to “The Knife Awaits,” the new single from Vancouver-based heavy rock band, Sleepcircle. “It’s a song about dealing with uncertainty in life,” guitarist Paul Wilson described in a statement. “While humanity negotiates crisis after crisis, we can often lose ourselves to social and mental isolation.”

      The lyrical themes of "The Knife Awaits" resonate widely and cut deeply, considering the turbulent state of, well, everything in the last few years. But Sleepcircle lets the light in with a rhapsodic performance from its players: a blistering melody layered with fuzzed out, bright, and charging guitar courtesy of Wilson and Kavian Iranzad; shifting rhythms from drummer Andrew Wilson; the expansive bassline of Ian Lavery; and lead vocalist Jake Touzel, who channels the spirit and soaring range of Layne Staley.  

      The song's music video, directed by local producer Diego Flores, doubles down on the sentiment as it shows the five-piece wandering through the lush backtrails of the West Coast rainforest, lost until they pull out their instruments—their light, their hope—from deep in the brush. It’s a reminder that there’s always beauty around us, even when we can’t see it at first.

      “The Knife Awaits” is the latest in an exciting trajectory of output from Sleepcircle, which has been carving out a name for itself in Vancouver's heavy DIY underground since its 2017 debut EP, Dead Wait. Following the release of its last effort, 2021’s Renegade, the independent band sold out a headlining slot at the Rickshaw Theatre.

      Don’t miss Sleepcircle's next gig at the Wise Hall on March 31, in support of LA punks Deathchant.

      “The Knife Awaits” is available on streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Music. Sleepcircle play the Wise Hall on March 31. Tickets are available online.