Every new artist’s debut has a story, it seems. The first thing you’ll hear from most sources about Country Sleep is that it was recorded in a 10 month period during which Night Beds (Colorado native, Winston Yellen) rented a house outside Nashville, formerly owned by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. But the real story here should be that Country Sleep is a pretty special record.
The songs are simple; innocent in places – the album opens with a lone voice and closes simply with TENN – yet exhibit careful and sophisticated arrangements. There is no respect lost for the album as an art-form here. The skillful dynamic shifts of Country Sleep allow it to flow seamlessly; from the single, desolate vocal of Faithful Heights to the Gram Parsons-esque alt-country romp that is Ramona, through the achingly beautiful Even if we Try (check out Yellen’s role in the video!).
Winston Yellen would have you believe he is a young (23), lucky guy, destined to work in a bowling alley, having a go at making music. But make no mistake, this is a very deliberate and beautifully crafted piece of work.