Sleepersound are from Milwaukee, WI, Chicago, IL, and thereabouts which give deep music heads the ability to make soundtracks for the movies in their own minds. Listening to their new album ’In Media Res’ feels like hearing what creative young people do in response to the snowed-in and/or super-hot lethargy of the area — extremities forcing friends to hole themselves up in garages and crawl into basements to communicate with each other through building layers of cinematic images through musical instruments. They fight the elements from without by making things elemental within.
One thing about how both post-punk into post-rock music emerged from the heartland is how it was more likely fans would crawl into crates of experimental rock, Noir indie folk, ambient obscurities, and eclectic imports and come out with an American guitar-based love of music for music’s sake. Sleepersound started as a solo project by David D’Antonio (guitars, vocals, synths), and was chosen by him to “invoke the desire to awaken ourselves gradually and ajar from existential slumbers that make us aloof to each other and our world,” David says.
Sleepersound is a development from a previous project David rooted in St. Louis and Chicago — the latter where David was born and raised, coming to Milwaukee by way of Chicago, then Naples, Italy, and St. Louis. Guitarist Kenny Buesing is from Sheboygan, currently in Riverwest Milwaukee. Drummer Dan Niedziejko grew up on the south side of Milwaukee and lives just outside it in Cudahy. Bassist Mike Campise grew up in Chicago and now resides in Milwaukee as well.
‘In Media Res’ is a Latin phrase meaning, “In the middle of things.” The sequence of songs – “Give to Time,” “Passengers,” “Gravity Well,” b/w “Terminals,” “Slow Moon,” and “Error Tape” – “all focus on the journey from life into death,” Mike says. “An exploration behind the veil of existence and into the realm of our place in the larger mechanism.” “Convergence, too,” Dan adds. “Things starting while in the middle of other things but coming together to form something new and putting other things to bed.”
’In Media Res’ was made of compositions documented, produced, and performed in drummer Dan Niedziejko’s studio, Indian Not the Arrow. The icy winds from Lake Michigan seem to blow through the six chapters, the songs are augmented by the esoteric talents of producer Kramer at Noise Miami, a true collaborator with such avant-garage bands as Galaxy 500, Low, Bongwater, Daniel Johnston, Ween, and Saeta, among others. You can hear both the original Krautrock but also the basement show-equivalent from the more elegant instrumental math-rock bands inspired by them in the 90s.
This is the band’s first full length after a three song EP, and though this is the 12th record Dan has worked on, it’s his most personal statement, really letting his mentor Kramer to come in and help harness the beauty of Sleepersound’s songs. The lush sweep and whisper pop of “Give to Time,” with its surreal Latin feel; the gusts and swells of guitar-chillwave “Gravity Wells”; the haunted picking of “Slow Moon,” all are from a singular place, and you can spot a band from here or then, but it is all uniformly whole and stylistically cohesive.
“About 80% of it was recorded live in the same room,” Dan explains. “Vocals and some small things were overdubbed but mostly it was that room, inspired by Trident and Olympic studio techniques, from the golden age of audio recording.” Mike adds, “As I wrote my parts for this album, I was picturing celestial bodies, silent and alone I the vacuum, suddenly being smashed by comets. It’s an interesting contrast of creation and destruction and I think it helped shape my musical tones.”
Dave: “The music ascends from the ashes of very specific people, the places where the relationships were fashioned, the attempt to memorialize those lost through song, and to connect with the ones in our life who are most unreachable — including a close friend who died in my arms; my father; Kenny’s friend.”
The music is written in a fully collaborative environment, based on Dave’s lyrics, which the band tweaks and refines as much as any instrument to fit the composition. “Our music is meant to convey visuals as well,” Dave says. “We physically want to invite our listeners to come with us and be in a shared space when we perform.”
If you’re imaging the twin guitar attack of early Television, the multi-media tendencies of Mission of Burma, or the arch instrumental prowess of Mogwai, you’re not far off. This is another band for those who getting their heads lost in sound is a must, as necessary to their record collection as well-known classics by Radiohead or Pink Floyd. But without sounding much like any of these. They sound exactly 100% Sleepersound, the kind of band you love to discover for yourself, and for themselves.
SOURCE: Official Bio