Pick of the Week: Moby and J.P. Bimeni “Should Sleep”

Pick of the Week, Moby, J.P. Bimeni, "Should Sleep"
Graphics by Sarah Tarlin

By Nora Onanian, Web Services Coordinator

“Should Sleep” from electronic music pioneer Moby is a love letter to New York’s underground dance music scene of the ’80s. 

Moby speaks to music’s universal power to unite when describing the scene, “when Larry Levan and David Mancuso played iconic tracks by loose joints and brass construction and the Peech Boys to an ecstatic audience of straight, gay, Black, white, Asian people, all joined in building nightly churches out of music and sweat."

The track, which features London-based, Burundian-born musician J.P. Bimeni on vocals, was released through Moby’s recently launched record label, Always Centered At Night.


THE SOUNDSCAPE: LAYER BY LAYER

In a video posted to Moby’s Instagram, he breaks down the layers that work together to form the luscious, funky landscape of the song. 

First is the bass line, low and ushering in cool. Then the drums, mixed to make a noise that mimics clapping. Next, the keyboard, which sometimes sounds more synthesizer-like, and at other points more grounded like a grand piano. The quick-tempoed tambourine adds more texture to the track,  a pitch or two higher than the rest of the instruments. Then there’s JP Bimeni’s vocals, warm and inviting. And last, but not least, there’s Mobi’s dog Bagel who isn’t actually incorporated into the sound of the song but is credited all the same.

 

THE PROMISES MADE THROUGH THE LYRICS

The lyrics of “Should Sleep” make a simple but endearing promise: “If you ever under fire, I want you to know that I’m here for help, baby.” 

They go on to acknowledge the pressures of life, the insurmountable weight that sometimes feels like it could “break you into two.” 

And then, another promise, the heartfelt reminder: “Sometimes we all need to start again.”

Over Moby’s long career, it may have felt to him like beginning again at several points. Most recently, he announced that later this month, he’ll have his first live DJ gig in over five years. But this song is a reminder that starting over is part of human nature.

"I feel that through this work, there’s simple wisdom, warmth, healing, uplift, breath and steadfastness," said J.P. Bimeni about “Should Sleep.” His words perfectly encapsulate not just the lyrics, not just the sound, but the essence of the track.  

 

Every Monday, our music staff brings you a new Pick of The Week, detailing some of our favorite songs. Check out our previous Picks of the Week here, and make sure to tune in to WERS 88.9FM!

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