By: Forrest Cook
Deep Sleepers recently self-released their debut self-titled album at Lola’s Trailer Park, and it’s an eclectic piece, to say the least. The six tracks clocking in at a little over twenty-two minutes resonate with vibes, almost literally, from all across the musical spectrum. From swinging basslines and jazzy drums to Americana-style picking and bleeding-heart country that oughta’ make Willie Nelson proud… (Someone please show that man “Legacy” and let us all know what he thinks. Please and thank you.) The group has coalesced to a level of musical prowess that can be expected of a band formed under a tight-knit scene – as although Deep Sleepers is a fairly new band, most of its members have been playing together for years and it shows.
Deep Sleepers EP opens out-of-the-ordinarily with a garage-y and electrified – what they call blues, I call swing dance – song, “Snake and Hound”. Whatever label you put on it, what you’ve got is the enigmatic and flowing guitar of Denver Williams and lead-man Caleb Stanislaw flawlessly executed and backlighted with an up beat tempo and bouncy rhythm that will get the more “dance-y” among us to hop, skip and jump, while the double-left-footed can be contented with a smile and cautious foot tap… with the exception of any herpetologist who might be pressed to remind you it’s actually venom that comes from a fang, not poison. Watch out for that snake!
Deep Sleepers frontman Caleb Stanislaw at Lola’s Saloon Photo: Johnny Govea
The next three tracks on the album showcase a bluesy and guitar-heavy foundation which is easily apparent throughout the first half of the album. “Awoken” strikes sonority with certain garage anthems and goes well with The Mooney Suzuki, Dinosaur Jr., and Blind Melon, while “I Don’t” takes a more soulful approach to contemporary blues and could be a Norah Jones song. “So Slow” is led by a crunching bass line from Curt Rode which dominates the groove alongside Zach Mayo’s devitalizing snare slap that’s “dynamite on PCP”, and guitar solos that’ll drag you through the mud and the whiskey if that’s your kind of thing.
“The Lonely One” is another slow one… and it’s got layers in itself. Combining the same blues structure and a slowed down country style songwriting technique, the song finds resonances with the regular whisky-fueled barroom rock and poppy soul ballads but also stretches into folksier indie singer/songwriter territory, presumably stemming from the fact that Deep Sleepers originated as a side project among scene veterans. The final song on the album, the aforementioned “Legacy” really capitalizes on that singer/songwriter aspect, and takes a far left-turn from the album’s beginnings on “Snake and Hound”. It’s an acoustic tune and one can assume that if it’s a smoker too, it’s smoking left-handed.
From the band: “’Legacy’ is a frustrated call-to-arms anthem. It draws attention to the misuse of resources and the environmental impact of unchecked capitalism.”
All capitally produced by Robbie Rux, Peter Weirenga, and Jordan Richardson, and featuring interstellar artwork from Ben Hance, Deep Sleepers is available for streaming on Spotify and comes with a price-tag of $5.94-6.99 for the digital album at all the usual cool download spots.