Sleeping States is one of the most exciting and promising artists to emerge out of England of late. Sleeping States, a pseudonym of singer songwriter Markland Starkie, luckily brings with him few of the cringe-worthy connotations of the genre ‘singer-songwriter’; Instead; he makes beautiful, dreamy lo-fi pop, full of lush harmonies and hypnotic instrumentation. Not only has he produced three fantastic albums and countless EP’s Markland also seems like a real nice guy. Name: Markland Starkie About us: I'm a 28 year old Midlander living in the West Country, having spent most of my 20s in the Big Smoke. In the mornings I walk up a huge, steep hill to work. In my spare time I sing sometimes. Listening to: I've recently been listening to the latest Cass McCombs album rather a lot, Catacombs. It's really rather lovely and sad and spacious, and I've now chastised myself for not paying him much attention over the years. A friend of mine gave me a copy of his first album, A, a few years ago, professing her love for it, but I didn't really love it so put it aside. But a few months ago one of the songs from that album cropped up on my iTunes shuffle and it really warmed to me, so I rediscovered that album, and then recently bought the new one. I guess I just wasn't ready for him earlier in my life, or something. Other than that I listen to a lot of podcasts, This American Life, Savage Love, things like that. A good one I discovered recently is Jordan, Jesse, Go! which is just two friends in LA shooting the shit for an hour or so, but they're both funny guys and they make me smile. Oh today I was also listening to the latest Pissed Jeans album too. Yeah, that's a fun album. And when I say fun, I mean loud. Reading : At the moment I'm reading Generation A, Douglas Coupland's latest novel. I became a bit addicted to Coupland when I was at university and read all of his (then published) novels all in one go, and have followed his output ever since. However, the last novel of his I really liked was Eleanor Rigby, which came out in 2004 or something, and his last two didn't really do anything for me so I was going to skip this new one. But then at the weekend I was in a bookshop and just thought, well, I've read all the others, I might as well read the new one. And actually it's pretty good so far, now that I've acclimatised to all the pop culture references (I forgot how much he likes to pack them in). It's been a while since I read a truly great novel though. Technically Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad I suppose, which I read a few weeks ago; it's considered great by enough people at least. Personally, I didn't like the ending. Video for Gardens of the South Watching: I just finished watching the first episode of Charlie Brooker's new Gameswipe series before typing this. It was good, as most of his shows/articles are. Film-wise, I recently re-watched Slacker, which is an early Richard Linklater film, and it was just so good. It doesn't really have a plot particularly, but just follows a bunch of teenagers around Austin, Texas for a day, kind of like American Graffiti but set/made in the '80s on a really low budget. It really captures the whole late-'80s, slacker/indierock scene so well, just before grunge really took off. Linklater kind of revisited this whole teenage zeitgeisty thing when he made Dazed and Confused, but even though I like that film I think Slacker is much better for the whole youth/nostalgia kick. Playing: Final Fantasy III for the SNES. I don't usually play computer games as I get addicted way too easily. But recently I was ill and I got an emulator to ease the boredom. And then I got addicted. I thought I'd completed the game but it turned out I'd only gotten half way through. It's like pain and pleasure rolled into one. Eating: You know what I really love? Ice cream. From G&Ds in Oxford. Vanilla cheesecake flavour with hot fudge sauce. Yum indeed. That and brown rice. Not together. Maybe together... Promo Info: I have an album recently out on Bella Union called In the Gardens of the North, and will be touring in late November with the Great Lake Swimmers around the UK and Ireland. Tour dates are at www.myspace.com/sleepingstates. Thanks