Skip to content

Sleepers Union


Blissful psychedelic pop from Simon McLaren, known for his high-energy, explosive songs in Loves Ugly Children and The Subliminals, partnered with The Onedin Line‘s Mark Anderson who added bass to McLaren’s home-sketched song ideas before bringing them Matthew Heine (and later Brendon Moran) to add drums in the studio.

Giant Spheres‘ was the product of McLaren being left to his own devices and finding a thoroughly appealing new voice, full of melody and majestic beauty. To record and play the album live he recruited a variety of well-known Auckland-based musicians.

I guess an uncomplicated answer to that is that this has turned out to be a psychedelic pop / psychedelic soft rock record. If you’re a fan of that genre in any way then you should like the Giant Spheres record. In terms of my history, it kinda carries along from The Subliminals vibe, which had a definite psychedelic quality, or perhaps some form of psychedelic anxiety about itself anyway.

A major difference is that Sleepers Union is about the vocals as well as the music, as I enjoyed the writing process, using language haphazardly by blending bunches of lines together until I could see symmetries or juxtapositions arise.

Simon McLaren [August 2003]

After a 13 year absence McLaren brought back the Sleepers Union moniker for ‘Machines of Love and Grace’ on Powertool Records in 2016 – although the album seems to have slipped completely under the radar, possibly due to Anderson relocating to New York soon after the albums release, with the group again going on hiatus.



  • Giant Spheres (2003, Turbine, TURBINE002)
  • Machines of Love and Grace (2016, Powertools Records)


Leave a Reply