By any stretch of the musical imagination, “Let Me Sleep Tonight”, the opening track off of Can’t Please You, Can’t Please Me, the third studio LP by the Minnesota-based folk/rock group Farewell Milwaukee, is close to the piano-driven pop/rock of The Fray and Seabird. However, over the course of Can’t Please You, Can’t Please Me, the group doesn’t limit itself to the confines of that arena-filling style, preferring to use it as one of several different kinds. What “Let Me Sleep Tonight” does is open the LP with dramatic gusto, with cries of “Don’t leave me alone!” punctuated by ringing piano chords.
The track now has a video, directed by Chad Echols and Serena Kuo, that is labeled “Chapter Three”, following videos Farewell Milwaukee did for their first two albums, 2009’s Autumn Rest Easy and 2011’s When it Sinks In. Echols and Kuo’s poetic visuals form a suggestive interpretation of Farewell Milwaukee’s tune, inviting the listener to closely examine a song that some might only think of as a piano ballad.
Lead singer and guitarist Ben Lubeck explains the motivation for “Let Me Sleep Tonight” as a classic case of emotional cognitive dissonance: “The space that we naturally create for ourselves when we are lonely and broken is the exact space that needs to be filled with love and companionship. ‘Let Me Sleep Tonight’ is a song that explores the tension between not wanting the ones closest to us to be brought into our dark places, while at the same time being afraid to be left alone.”
Can’t Please You, Can’t Please Me is out now. You can download it on Bandcamp here.