The Spirit of the Beehive’s new album Hypnic Jerks was originally conceived as a brief mixtape, and although it has ended up as a 39-minute LP it still maintains that quality. This is thanks largely to the Philadelphia band’s decision to stitch together the record with audio clips from old home video recordings found in bassist Rivke Ravede’s family collection. The result is as though they’ve recorded over an old VHS, where the songs are punctuated by audio clips of the previous contents, like ghostly visions floating up and out of recent-but-distant history.

Hypnic Jerks is also an appropriate name for the album, as the gauzy sound of the album, and much of its lyrical content, artfully describe a restless slumber full of moments that drag you deep into sleep - and others that wrench you out from it. Opening couplet ‘nail i couldn’t bite’ and ‘mantra is repeated’ are firmly in the fuzzed-out dream pop realm, with lyrics mirroring inner monologues that haunt you as you try to get some rest (“there’s no explanation/ no reason for us to try”). The songs blend together seamlessly, and cutting Hypnic Jerks into tracks seems almost a shame as this is undoubtedly an album meant to be heard in one uninterrupted thread.

However, there are certainly different moods throughout the album, as is made obvious after we move clear of the opening couplet. Just as your body is ready to fall into the deepest slumber, ‘fell asleep with a vision’ whizzes into frenetic life, sounding as though you accidentally rolled onto the remote control and hit fast-forward, the sudden burst of energy snatching that longed-for comatose state out from under you. The brief spasm of ‘fell asleep with a vision’ then lapses back into pillowy synths, allowing you to begin drifting off again, but the album’s angstiest song ‘can i receive the contact?’ soon has you in its grip, delivering turbulent riffs and whispering feedback. This doesn’t at all break Hypnic Jerks’ dreamy spell though, as the harshness is rounded off by The Spirit of the Beehive’s perennial fuzz and oozing synths, delivering a sound akin to a degraded VHS tape, the top half showing clear and sharp picture while the bottom of the image is a vague smattering of moving shapes.

The middle of Hypnic Jerks takes us deepest into dormancy, with ‘poly swim’ being the album’s centrepoint and one of its crowning achievements. Deep in slumber we’re treated to a slowly bobbing and cutely dancing song that spirals on starry-eyed vocals straining to be heard through layers of guitar fibres and sparkling keyboard adornment. This gives way to ‘d.o.u.b.l.e.u.r.o.n.g.’ which features an extended home video clip where a grandfather describes spending time with his young grandchildren, laid atop dusky synths, the combination placing you firmly in a tactile 90s domestic scene. But, just as you try to reach out for an affectionate pat from the grandfather, the second half shifts the scene into a loping rock song. This longing for connection is furthered as The Spirit Of The Beehive glide us into the gorgeously nostalgic floater ‘(without you) in my pocket’, which envisions an idyllic life where “we smoke in the day/ fuck in the night.” This reverie is short lived, as next track ‘hypnic jerks’ does exactly what you’d expect, puncturing the dream with a relatively frantic and punky missive.

This ushers in the fitful final segment of the album, where The Spirit of the Beehive deliver us songs that hew more towards subtle nightmares. ‘monumental shame’ is fluffy and delightfully soft, like most of the songs on here, but it is haunted by creepy atmospheres, and the vocal embodies the deep sadness suggested by the title. We wind up in the lilting ballad ‘it’s gonna find you’, where frosty vocals and desolate breakdowns collide with the band’s usual warm melodies, leaving us floating in a celestial no man’s land.

While Hypnic Jerks is not breaking any new boundaries, it’s a very worthwhile album for the craft that has gone into making it. The Spirit of the Beehive’s ingenuity in stringing together their tracks with the intercut home video clips is not altogether original either, but the way they’ve unified them with their nostalgic and warm production does make it feel as though we’re travelling through time and space with them. None of this would work if the songs themselves weren’t worthwhile, and they’re all gloriously inhabitable, wrapping your brain in aural cotton and filling it with amorphous images. The Spirit of the Beehive ask us to take a trance-like trip with them through Hypnic Jerks, and there’s plenty of ethereal beauty in here to make you want to take a dreamy deep dive – until life inevitably jerks you out again.