Year of Release: 2015
Sixty-five-year-old actor/musician Jeff Bridges does his best Zen/The Dude thing on Sleeping Tapes; something that initially seems like a wry joke, but ends up being one of the most compellingly weird listening experiences of the year. A series of recorded conversations of Bridges mumbling and waxing philosophic over ambient noises, discordant drones, and warm synthesizers, Sleeping Tapes is like a New Age relaxation session with your favorite loopy uncle. Jeff chats with his wife after waking up in bed, talks to a bunch of kids about their dreams, worries about having to urinate during the night, incessantly hums over analog keyboard washes, gives us a tour guide through California's Temescal Canyon, and launches into positive affirmations such as "you have excellent insights into popular movies", among many other gleefully strange things. It is undoubtably something only Bridges could have concocted, and despite its overt silliness, there's real attention to creating avant-garde soundscapes that may either induce deep rest or more likely, cause one to hang on every garbled word until eventually drifting off into dreamland.