February 1, 2023

New Fury Media

Music. Gaming. Nostalgia. Culture.

Inside The Mask: Sleep Token’s recent viral success isn’t a mirage – it’s now the standard

Despite what their recent surge in listenership and influx of new fans might tell you (as well as some music critics), Sleep Token is not a new band. The band has now hit one MILLION monthly listeners on Spotify, thanks to four songs releasing in the last two weeks. A sort of drip-feed strategy that the band has utilized previously, these four songs have managed to quadruple their monthly Spotify listeners in just two weeks, now reaching over one MILLION in that statistic. Before these songs released, they were bringing in just over 200k, which is obviously a staggering jump. However, this newfound meteoric success isn’t a mirage – it’s now the norm.

Sleep Token’s recent success has been years in the making. First emerging in 2016/17 with a handful of songs that blended progressive metal // djent influences with more esoteric ones like pop and R&B, tracks like “Fields Of Elation” and “Nazareth” started to garner the band some initial attention. But it wasn’t until 2019, when the band started drip-feeding new material from their debut full-length, that things really started to take off for the unique act.

It also helped that Sleep Token took advantage of both the mysteriousness of hidden identities, as well as the market inefficiency and anomaly of a band blending multiple, distinct styles of music together. Courting attention from multiple markets is one of the easiest ways for both a new and also an established band to experience a “meteoric” rise to fame, even if the tools had been there all along. In this case, they’ve also been helped by reaction channels on social media, the new songs exploding on TikTok (which is more popular than it was when ST released their previous albums), and the snowball effect of the band generally trending on social media encourages new fans to see what the fuss may be about.

We definitely live in a time where, thanks to the power of the Internet and various forms of social media, a band can explode into the public consciousness very quickly. For some, they might assume Sleep Token is a new act, thanks to more than a few media outlets pretending they are. But the fact is, this newfound success has been years in the making – like many bands and musicians. In the end, though, it doesn’t really matter (lol) how you discover bands like this. Whether you’re a day one fan or a newcomer to what Sleep Token is doing, it’s always cool to have a band experience success – and even moreso when they provide a unique experience and sound to offer.

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