King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are an Australian rock group whose music is just as weird as their name. The band has made headlines not only for their dense musical content, but also for the restrictions they put on themselves when crafting tracks. For example, on their album, Quarters!, every song was the same length, 10 minutes and 10 seconds. Paradoxically, the beauty and weirdness in their work stems the restrictions the group often puts on themselves.
The track, “Sleep Drifter,” is off their latest album, Flying Microtonal Banana. Like the projects that came before it, Flying Microtonal Banana, features a kind of musical challenge. This album features the use of microtuning, the act of tuning an instrument to play tones in between the standard intervals of western music. While this may seem like a silly gimmick at first, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are able to utilize microtones to garner some rather interesting results. One aspect in particular that stands out in this song is the band’s masterful use of dissonance to create a feeling of uneasiness. The entire instrumental reminds me restless summer nights, and the inability to fall asleep, which serves as a unique balance Stu Mackenzie’s dreamy vocals.
If you enjoy this track, you’ll love the rest of the album. And if you happen to be in New York City on Friday March 31st, you can catch these aussies performing at Webster Hall.