Over the last decade, the Chinese-Malaysian Australian experimental pop musician and performance artist Becky "Sui Zhen" Freeman has become emblematic for me of a generation of musicians who drink deeply from the rich musical histories of the mid-to-late 20th century while still finding ways to create work that marches forward into our 21st-century future. In that time, I've seen her use a palette of vintage synthesisers + drum machines, live instrumentation and expertly arranged vocals to explore the banality of modern dystopia, the pain of life after loss, the process of coming to terms with one's identity, and the cycles and circles of life.

Less of a single and more of a bridging statement, "Sleepless" is a sprawling 13-minute opus, which Becky has described as influenced by Sheila Chandra’s ‘Out on My Own’, Can’s ‘Tago Mago’ and Durutti Column’s ‘Fidelity’. Stretching out towards infinity, she corrals together a crystalline vocal acapella, expansive sunset/sunrise synthesiser pads, warm, woozy sub-bass, and flickering, twitching electronics before narrating a touching, spoken word reflection that intermingles childhood memories and contemporary technorealistic observations over a sturdy groove. From there, 'Sleepless' continues to rise, fall and rise again, transforming the pain Becky experienced in the wake of the loss of her mother in 2018 and her first child in 2021 into an epic meditation on how we live, love, lose, carry on and love again.

"Sleepless" is available for digital purchase (here)