Our next selection ranks high on the list of songs I need to hear live in 2023. The Charles Gene Suite’s I Don’t Sleep Anymore is a whimsical piece of hip-hop and jazz-fusion that captures the magic of a great jam session.
I Don’t Sleep Anymore intros with a pair of guitars strumming along, creating a dreamy and somewhat buoyant atmosphere as the track gradually sets into its warmth. Rāms vocally leads the song as he introduces the central hook focusing on the restless insomnia he’s been feeling lately. He then introduces himself as a vulnerable artist in need of some genuine connection, this need finds him requesting for someone to keep him company through the night as he gets to know them. SOMESAYFEDI’s beautifully harmonizes with Rāms in one of my favourite bridges of recent memory, the instrumentation against the artists’ playful vocal approach is a truly comforting experience. I Don’t Sleep Anymore’s sonic disposition is so blissful that it often masks just how existential the subject matter being expressed is, the main source of lyrical optimism can be found within Laliboi’s prayer of a second verse. MANGALISO ASI describes his verse as the last ramblings of an insomniac chasing an elusive feeling that he can’t quite reach, expressing how depressed he is by his current existence. He then goes on to reveal that the only place that frees or rests his soul is within abstract fifths (read: music).
Within this context I Don’t Sleep Anymore feels like a love letter to music from musicians whose main source of comfort comes from making it. You can feel that comfort and love all over the track as it continues to find ways of inject euphoria into its orbit with an orchestra of instruments. This Charles Gene Suite gem is a paradoxical gift that keeps on giving. Armed with a wealth of amazing musicians all injecting their unique soul into the blend, it’s not only my favourite posse cut I’ve heard this year but it’s also one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve listened to for as long as I’ve been making these lists.
Read the full Top 22 of 2022 here.