Sleep Walk. It’s here! It's arrived! It's finally out in the world! These words are both exciting and scary. It’s always a little nerve-racking sharing something so personal with others, something we’re so incredibly proud of and can get behind 110% but still, you never know what the reaction is going to be when putting it out into the world.
What we can tell you though is that the first song written on this record was The Unknown, and at the time, we weren’t entirely sure what direction we wanted to head in with the bands sound. We had been toying with various song ideas and experimenting with different styles. We knew we wanted to evolve from our debut with something a little different and a little more exciting for us, but didn’t know exactly what we were looking for (“You never found what you’re looking for” *music notes*. Those who know our last record may get the reference. ☺)
It wasn’t until we broke out our Prophet (an 80’s analog synthesizer that just oozes vintage tone) and started playing chords using it’s amazing arpeggiator that we began to feel like we were going down the right path. So we started adding other elements like electronic claps, weird delayed-out guitars, atmospheric pads and distorted bass synths. There was a moment during the creation of The Unknown where something just clicked and it all started to work. It felt right and felt like the direction we should head down. It was fresh with one hand in the future and the other in the past. And so, the seeds of Sleep Walk were planted. We played that first demo over and over again, getting psyched for the thought of what this album could be.
That summer we finished up the rest of the songs. We spent the days and weeks experimenting with sounds, song structures, guitar parts and lyrics at our home studio in Burlington. We’d often take breaks and listen to new 80's bands like New Order, Depeche Mode and The Cure and watch old David Lynch films for inspiration. Also during these breaks we'd go bask in the summer sun which would typically lead to impromptu napping in lawn chairs while the birds pleasantly chirped. Still half asleep I’d often wake with song lyrics in my head. Lyrics that created a mood that came from my stream of consciousness. So off we’d go darting back inside to the studio to lay it down. Much of the album was made this way. Much of it seemingly came out of nowhere so we really rolled with that, trying not to force anything and just letting the pieces fall where they may. This kind of approach based on intuition without overthinking felt really un-contrived and pure. We had never written an album this way before! We had always had some preconceived notion of how the songs should sound and what kind of song to write and what the songs should be about but this time, we threw all that out the window and rolled the dice on whatever our subconscious wanted to do on any given day. The approach was fresh and exciting for us. What came out were lyrics based on feelings we didn’t know we had and sounds we would have never come up with if he had let our conscious mind take the wheel. For instance, the lyrics to ‘Million Different Ways,’ if you had asked me if I was feeling vulnerable I would’ve said “no way,” but being in the dreamy state I was in and without thinking about the question, heck yes I was feeling vulnerable. And that vulnerability really came out in those lyrics that I probably otherwise wouldn't have written if I hadn't surrendered my conscious mind to my intuition. At this point in the making of the record we had caught a wave and were loving the vibe.
When all the arrangements were feeling right, we took the project to Jukasa Studios in Oshwekan to enlist the help of the recording master, Darren Magierowski (Alexisonfire, July Talk, Monster Truck, Snoop Dogg…) What an amazing place with an amazing vibe in such an inspiring location. Darren and the Jukasa team really know how to support the art of music and not let the technicalities of recording get in the way, which can be a challenge when going into a studio.
Looking back, it all feels like a bit of a dream. You know those moments where you think about your past and it feels like you’re a third person looking in? That kind of déjà vu feeling? The process of writing and recording these songs on this album feels something like that. It feels nostalgic. Like it was recorded in another life that’s vaguely familiar. Every time we play these songs live it brings me back to the head space we were in. It’s like this album just kind of appeared. As if all of a sudden we snapped out of our hypnosis and it was there, mimicking our reflection in a mirror, showing us things about ourselves that we never knew was there.
Listening now, now that it’s actually out and people are starting to hear it, I feel incredibly proud. Proud that we created something that’s as true to ourselves and our art as it can be.
Music is such an amazing gift from the universe that we don’t take for granted and I want to thank all of you for taking the time to listen. I hope we’ve been able to create something that you enjoy as much as we do!