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Sleepthief is an American electronic music recording project formed by producer and composer Justin Elswick. Elswick began writing music for the album ten years prior to its release. The album was mixed, mastered, co-produced, and co-arranged by Israel Curtis. Sleepthief's first album, The Dawnseeker, was released in 2006.

Sleepthief is most often compared to musical groups such as Delerium (in its output from the mid-1990s onward) and Balligomingo, which produce emotive, melodic, synthesized music with what is often described as New Age-influenced ethnic characteristics from other cultures. Also similar to these groups is Sleepthief's use of pop music-based song structures with performances by female singers (also known as power metal): eleven vocalists contribute to The Dawnseeker, many of whom are established recording artists, and some having worked with the aforementioned groups previously.


Born in Southern California, Elswick served as an LDS missionary in Texas and received a B.A. degree in History from Brigham Young University. Throughout this period, he became a self-taught musician. Justin also studied in Ireland, graduating with a Master's degree in philosophy at Trinity College, Dublin followed by a law degree at J. Reuben Clark Law School. He is currently a practicing attorney in Provo, Utah.[1]

In addition, Elswick wrote for Musical Discoveries, a music website dedicated to female vocalists, as an associate editor.[2]

History of Sleepthief[edit]

Elswick began working on songs with Curtis around 2003. Russell Elliot, editor-in-chief of Musical Discoveries, put Elswick in contact with singer Jody Quine[3] in December 2003;[1] Quine became the first singer to join with the project, recording three songs and being filmed for a music video by 2005.[4] Vic Levak, who worked with Balligomingo along with Quine, also worked with the group.

The Dawnseeker[edit]

The Dawnseeker
Sleepthief Dawnseeker cover.jpg
Studio album by Sleepthief
Released June 27, 2006
Genre Electronic, pop
Label Neurodisc
Producer Justin Elswick, Israel Curtis

All songs written by Elswick and the vocalist featured except where otherwise noted.

  1. "Eurydice"
  2. "Desire of Ages" (Curtis, Elswick, Harland, James Harland-Wright)
  3. "You Did a Good Thing" (Elswick, Eric Harris, Hitchcock)
  4. "Just Say It"
  5. "The Chauffeur" (Duran Duran) (original by Duran Duran)
  6. "Tenuous"
  7. "Sublunar (Sweet Angel)"
  8. "Nightjar" (Lavelle)
  9. "Fire from Heaven"
  10. "The Metro" (John Crawford) (original by Berlin)
  11. "Kiss to Savor"
  12. "Afterthoughts" (Edman)
  13. "Entre Ciel et Mer" (Elswick, Harris, Sandrine Ligabue)


The lead single, "Eurydice", was released as a digital download as well as a limited-edition CD single. The tracklisting for the single is as follows:

  1. "Eurydice"
  2. "Eurydice" (Nick Wax's "Orpheus Descending" Mix)
  3. "Eurydice" (Psychosomatic Remix)
  4. "Eurydice" (Dark Territory Mix)
  5. "Eurydice" (Nook and Kranny's "Lost" Remix)
  6. "Eurydice" (Sensory Gate Remix)
  7. "Eurydice" (Underworld A Capella)

The new "Eurydice" mix was released on August 12, 2012 and is credited to DjMikelD (who did the Angels on Water Mix for the song). The follow-up single, "The Chauffeur", is a cover of the Duran Duran song of the same name and was released in the same formats. 11 different versions of the song appear on the single, along with a cover of the Scorpions song "Send Me an Angel", with Kristy Thirsk on vocals. A limited edition CD single featuring the music video for "The Chauffeur" was released by Neurodisc soon afterwards.

The tracklist for the single is as follows:

  1. "The Chauffeur" (Original Album Version)
  2. "The Chauffeur" (Psychosomatic Mix)
  3. "The Chauffeur" (Flipside's Remix)
  4. "The Chauffeur" (Seize Puts on the Brakes Mix)
  5. "The Chauffeur" (Martin Preston Mix)
  6. "The Chauffeur" (Lemonsoul Deep Hous Mix)
  7. "The Chauffeur" (Sapphirecut with Dave Shaffer Mix)
  8. "The Chauffeur" (Nick Wax's Drifting Haze Mix)
  9. "The Chauffeur" (DJ Vapour Mix)
  10. "The Chauffeur" (Timo Mae Main Mix)
  11. "The Chauffeur" (Timo Mae Dub Mix)
  12. "Send Me an Angel" (ft. Kristy Thirsk)

Music videos were filmed for "Tenuous", "Eurydice", and "The Chauffeur".

Labyrinthine Heart[edit]

Labyrinthine Heart
Sleepthief heart.jpg
Studio album by Sleepthief
Released August 31, 2009
Genre Electronic, pop
Label Neurodisc
Producer Justin Elswick, Israel Curtis
  1. "Here I Confess"
  2. "World Gone Crazy"
  3. "Skimming Stones (Reprise)"
  4. "Labyrinthine Heart"
  5. "A Kind of Magic"
  6. "A Cut From the Fight"
  7. "Rainy World"
  8. "Ariadne (The Dividing Sea)"
  9. "Reason Why"
  10. "Fire King"
  11. "Reversals"
  12. "There's Something Going On"


The lead single for the Labyrinthine Heart, "World Gone Crazy", features the vocals of Coury Palermo and was released as a digital download EP on June 30, 2009. It includes the original version as well as several remixed versions.

  1. "World Gone Crazy" (Psychosomatic Radio Mix)
  2. "World Gone Crazy" (Nick Murray Mix)
  3. "World Gone Crazy" (Martin Preston Mix)
  4. "World Gone Crazy" (Sensory Gate Mix)
  5. "World Gone Crazy" (Coury Palermo Mix)

In December 2009, a new version of the World Gone Crazy EP was released.


  1. "World Gone Crazy" (Sandro Peres Radio Edit)
  2. "World Gone Crazy" (Sepiamusic Mix)
  3. "World Gone Crazy" (DJ MikeID)
  4. "World Gone Crazy" (Nick Wax Mix)
  5. "World Gone Crazy" (Bryan EL Mix)
  6. "World Gone Crazy" (Sandro Peres Extended Mix)
  7. "World Gone Crazy" (Sandro Peres Dubmix)

The track "Skimming Stones", performed with Kirsty Hawkshaw, is a reprised version that was originally released on a compilation album featuring various female vocalists called Sirenes: The Beauty of the Female Voice. A music video was also produced for this track.[5]

The next single was "Reason Why", a duet performed by Coury Palermo & Zoë Johnston. A music video has been shot for the track as well, set in the Provo Tabernacle, which was destroyed by a fire in December 2010. Along with several remixes, a new song titled "Asunder" was released. It is performed with the neoclassical/Celtic duo Mirabilis.

The tracklist is as follows:

  1. "Reason Why" (feat. Zoë Johnston and Coury Palermo)
  2. "Reason Why" (Blue Stone Remix)
  3. "Reason Why" (Chris Brush Mix)
  4. "Reason Why" (Bryan El Mix)
  5. "Asunder" (feat. Mirabilis)

Upcoming Third Album[edit]

Sleepthief's third full-length album is expected to be released in 2014. A crowd-funding campaign to raise $40,000 for the third album was launched on June 28, 2013, which raised around $10,000. Kirsty Hawkshaw, Caroline Lavelle, Coury Palermo, Carla Werner, Jody Quine, Kristy Thirsk, Sonja Drakulich, Joanna Stevens, Andrea Gerak, Phildel, Marcella Detroit and Sandra Jill Alikas-St. Thomas are singers for the album. In the beginning of June 2011, Sleepthief and Jody Quine recorded two tracks titled "Mortal Longing" (which was released as an EP) and "The Falcon in the Snow", which are in the same vein as "Eurydice" and "World Gone Crazy". Sleepthief recorded the song "Moonlough Shore" with Caroline Lavelle, and also recorded two songs with Phildel: "Dust & Cloud" and "Where the Heart Is".

"Mortal Longing" was released on June 4, 2012, while the digital single and remixes from Psychosomatic, Blue Stone, and DjMikeID were released on June 11, 2012. A music video was released with the single. It was shot in the Goblin Valley State Park in Utah and features Jody Quine and Justin Elswick himself in what can be defined a metaphor of the search for love - a search that not always is happy.[6] Jody Quine had a short insight on the song concept:

"When Justin gave me the title 'Mortal Longing' and the ideas behind it I struggled with how to best embody it lyrically. What I heard and followed was diving into the idea of physical addiction to the point of death almost and yet having it also be the saviour. Choosing the right words that weren't cliche or cheesy can be difficult, but I think I found some very strong and vivid choices that portray the physical responses of being in love and also cry out for breath. Now that the song is out and I know more about where Justin was coming from in his concept, I think I wrote a kick ass song with him. I love you Justin, and I'm always so honoured to work with you, Thank you."

Another new single, "This Means War", was recorded in June 2013 with Joanna Stevens and released as an EP on November 12, 2013, along with a sci-fi themed music video.[7] The tracklist is as follows:

  1. "This Means War" (Psychosomatic Video Mix)
  2. "This Means War" (Noonatac Ceasefire Remix)
  3. "This Means War" (Digital Quest Blaster Mix)
  4. "This Means War" (Digital Quest Blaster Mix)
  5. "This Means War" (Jamie Myerson Remix)
  6. "This Means War" (L.A.B First Mix)
  7. "This Means War" (Martron Remix)
  8. "This Means War" (Elu Evolution Mix)

The music video of "Dust & Cloud" was released on July 21, 2014, and the single itself was released on July 28, 2014.[8] The tracklist is as follows:

  1. "Dust & Cloud" (ft. Phildel) [Album Version]
  2. "Dust & Cloud" (ft. Phildel) [Digital Quest Earth and Sky Remix]
  3. "Dust & Cloud" (ft. Phildel) [Synthetic Substance Remix]
  4. "Dust & Cloud" (ft. Phildel) [Chris Laurent Mix]
  5. "Dust & Cloud" (ft. Phildel) [Matt Hoffman's Pteranodon Mix]
  6. "Dust & Cloud" (ft. Phildel) [From Behind the Clouds Remix]
  7. "There Is No Greater Sadness" (ft. Andrea Gerak)

Other Projects[edit]

After releasing Labyrinthine Heart, Elswick released two new tracks included in the compilation Beauty 2 - Music That Touches The Soul, which was released on October 25, 2010. The first track, "Another Day", was sung by Kyoko Baertsoen and is a cover of the original song by This Mortal Coil. The second track, "Empyrean", was sung by Suzanne Perry and was performed with the glossolalia technique.

Sleepthief's website site was launched on June 11. He is also working on a remix and a song for Nicola Hitchcock's solo album. Another cover version of "Send Me an Angel" has been released in December 2012, featuring strings by Caroline Lavelle. Both of Sleepthief's albums have been available on iTunes since April 12, 2013.

He is currently busy with a side project with Caroline Lavelle and Israel Curtis called "Spythriller", and the first video and related single, a cover of Nightwish's "Nemo", was released on November 15, 2011 with remixes of the song from Jamie Myerson and Treatise. Two more tracks for the album, "Cold War Kisses" and "Aftermath", can be found on the Spythriller official website and official YouTube channel. The next single will be "Asleep in Metropolis", and will feature a video shot by Hugh Marsh.

In addition, he is working with Roberta Carter-Harrison on her solo album and with Carla Werner on her own solo dance album.

Sleepthief also releases spiritual and Christmas songs on his SoundCloud page. The songs, listed by date released, are:

  1. "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" (feat. Kristy Hawkshaw, Coury Palermo and Zoë Johnston)
  2. "Veni Redemptor, Solamen Gentium" (feat. Jana Thompson Ellsworth)
  3. "Snow" (feat. Zoë Johnston)
  4. "Tollite Hostias" (feat. Lauralyn Curtis)
  5. "Ubi Caritas [Altius Mix]" (feat. Kristy Thirsk)
  6. "What Child Is This?" (feat. Jody Quine)
  7. "Deus Meus" (feat. Amanda Elswick)


Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sleepthief - The Dawnseeker". Musical Discoveries. Retrieved 2007-01-11. 
  2. ^ "About Musical Discoveries". Musical Discoveries. Retrieved 2007-01-11. 
  3. ^ "Morpheus Music Interview - Sleepthief". Morpheus Music. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 
  4. ^ "Viia - Vic Levak and Judy Quine". Musical Discoveries. Retrieved 2007-01-11. 
  5. ^ "Sleepthief with Kirsty Hawkshaw - Skimming Stones". 
  6. ^ "Sleepthief with Jody Quine - Mortal Longing". 
  7. ^ "This Means War [Psychosomatic Video Mix]". 
  8. ^ "Sleepthief - Dust & Cloud (ft. Phildel)". 

External links[edit]