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“Sleepyhead” - Hunter Moreau |Review

Hunter Moreau’s first release of 2022 “Sleepyhead” is a powerful masterpiece. “Sleepyhead” has everything: from Moreau’s incredible vocals to her beautiful lyrics backed by a stunning soundtrack to the message about mental health.

Inspiration for “Sleepyhead” came to Moreau as she lay in bed overthinking.

“I fell into this repeated game I play with my mind, getting wrapped up in my own thoughts and worries and emotions,” Moreau said. “As I laid there, I started to think about how everyone goes through these sorts of ‘fights’ or ‘games’ with their own minds, often repeating the same toxic ways of thinking over and over again because we’re so accustomed to it.”

Moreau’s track begins with a pounding of drums, and if your volume is too high, it feels like the beats are reverberating in your head. The harsh drums can be a metaphor for Moreau’s thoughts and the act of overthinking: bouncing around so loudly that you’re trapped, forced to pay attention to your thoughts and the constant repetition of them.

Then the drums are joined by electronic sounds and the scratching, echoing of vocals, creating a whirlwind of sounds. The repetition of the vocals reminded me of overthinking: how a lot of the time you think through a scenario only to erase it and recreate almost the same scenario or conversation.

After the intro, Moreau begins singing; and, I was immediately captivated by her incredible vocals. Her voice was rich with emotion and mesmerizing.

Already in love with her song, Moreau’s chorus sealed the deal. There was just something about the emphasis when Moreau sang, “Mirror, mirror, hanging on the wall.” I felt like I could listen to it endlessly. The imagery of the line with the allusion to Snow White and the Queen’s mirror also captured my attention. Rather than the Queen asking who’s fairest of them all, Moreau asks, “How much longer till I fall?” Then she ends the chorus with the same two lines, however, the question changes: “How much longer till I fall / Apart.” Moreau seems to pause for the smallest moment before singing “apart,” creating a bigger punch.

Additionally, Moreau incorporates an echo singing softly behind her main vocals. Sometimes it was so quiet and subtle I had to strain to hear. As I concentrated on the echo, it almost felt like I was going crazy. Was I really hearing it? Other times, the echoing voice was louder and clearer. No matter the intensity, the echo felt like an emphasis, another voice validating the struggle of mental health and the complexity of our brains and of our thoughts processes.

“Sleepyhead” was born from the chorus line “I build myself a house of tricks / With a clock on the wall that always ticks,” connecting to Moreau’s games she’d play in her head. Moreau brought the line and what she had to Pom Pom and Zoe Moss.

“[W]e all talked about the struggle of mental health and the maze that is your own mind,” Moreau said. “From there, the rest of the song just flowed out of us, it seemed like a concept that was so universal but also meaningful, and we couldn't wait to share it.”

Moreau frequently shares a more vulnerable side of herself through her music, which is true to “Sleepyhead.” In its discussion of mental health, “Sleepyhead” aims to “capture the idea that your mind can seem like this crazy, scary thing that you can’t control, but it really is something you built yourself, based on your own ways of thinking.”

Highlighting and discussing mental health has become something people are doing more and more and it’s becoming less taboo, which I feel is very important. Through "Sleepyhead," Moreau provides her listeners with a space to connect with her struggles and feel like their own struggles are valid. As Moreau mentioned the universality of mental health, “Sleepyhead” is a song that captures mental health and can connect to others' struggle with mental health, while still being about Moreau’s individual experience.

“Sleepyhead” and Hunter Moreau are perfect for fans of RIYL: Benee, Shy Martin, Kenzie, Olivia Rodrigo, CXLOE, Gracie Abrams, and Upsahl.

Moreau is a singer-songwriter from Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. Moreau blends indie, pop, and soul to craft her own style that’s also inspired by Stevie Nicks, Harry Styles, and Frank Ocean.

Through her music, Moreau steps out of her comfort zone as she captures the attention of her listeners by allowing herself to be vulnerable to them and express many struggles she has faced. Moreau believes that vulnerability is one of the only ways to grow. She uses her music to help her grow while hoping her music helps others grow, especially teenage boys and young men.

At the age of twelve, Moreau auditioned and got into Showstoppers, a community service troupe based in her hometown. Four years later, she wrote “Drive In,” which was released in November 2019 as her debut single alongside an accompanying video. Following its release, “Drive In” quickly got over 100k streams on Spotify.

Written by Anne Friedman

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