“I like to create some sort of metaphorical dreamland,” said Sandman Sleeps’ vocalist/guitarist Cristina Peck. “To leave something to your imagination.”

The Floridian band’s debut album, Crisis Actor, is effectively a “best-of” culled from a decade of songcraft. It’s an arresting, singularly evocative and authentic expression inspired by Pixies, Kate Bush, Talking Heads, and Tori Amos, yet not sounding like any of these – or anyone else.

First formed by Cristina and her bassist sister Alex as teens, Sandman Sleeps reconvened with renewed passion in 2019. In between came spells of separation and togetherness, of depression and exploration, in art school and in various cities and bands. But the sisters missed their unspoken sibling synergy. Enhancing this with drummer Karsten Andersen and guitarist Zack Jones, they embroider songs old and new with honed musicality and diverse life experience.

“We’ve recorded this damn album, like, three times now,” laughed Alex, referencing Sandman Sleeps’ perfectionism before discovering Thunder House Studio in Fort Pierce, Florida, where Crisis Actor was co-produced with engineer Nick Diiorio in early 2021.