Sleeping States
uk | Label: Misra

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I started Sleeping States in 2004, or maybe the end of 2003, some time after moving to London. It was a slow beginning as I was looking for other things to do, other bands perhaps, something loud to play guitar in. But I had been building a collection of quieter songs from messing around on my Tascam cassette four-track recorder on evenings after work and they seemed to work much better than the noisier bits and pieces I had recorded on the four-track so I figured they might be worth working on a bit more. I’d never really written any songs all on my own before though so it was a while before I had the courage to play them to people. Anyway, tentative gigs started occurring every now and then, helped out at first by my old friend Stuart on guitar, and then with Craig, who continued to play guitar at Sleeping States shows for several years.

Towards the end of 2004 I self-released a CD-R album called Distances Are Great, which contained songs I’d written that spring and summer – self-released as a) I had no idea how to meet or contact any body else, label or otherwise, who might want to put it out and b) the idea of waiting more than a couple weeks to release an album after I’d finished recording it, let alone months, seemed ludicrous to me, especially when all I cared about was handing it to friends. That was quickly followed by two EPs, one put out by the awesome and much-missed (by me at least) music collective Homocrime, and another self-released again, though this time on cassette.

A steady stream of gigs, tours (expanding and contracting the live band over time) and records of varying formats and sizes have happened since that time and I’ve played with a ton of great bands in that time (which is a major part of doing this right?) including Blonde Redhead, Electrelane, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Pants Yell!, M. Ward, David Grubbs and so on. In 2006 I put out a 7″ single called ‘Rivers’ and in 2007 I put out a second album, There The Open Spaces, which got a worldwide release thanks to three great labels, Tome, Misra and EtchnSketch. I also did a big coast-to-coast-to-coast US tour when the album came out, recruiting two super great musicians from Portland OR, Ashod and Dana, holing up in a basement with them for a week to learn the songs, and then hitting the road for six weeks.

The songs themselves have veered all over the place, from quiet folk to noisey indierock to synthpop to longer, experimental pieces. I have a short attention span and get bored doing the same thing over. But I think there’s continuity there? If only just a minor 7th.

I moved to Bristol in 2008 and put together a new album over the winter of 2009, helped along with Rose on drums. The album was called In the Gardens of the North and came out in August 2009, with some touring in the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe over the course of the following year, sometimes with a full band, sometimes on my own, quite often with another guitarist/percussionist, Liz. As of October 2010, I’m planning a short tour of the US East Coast, as well as releasing a couple of things yet to be confirmed. Also, check out the wonderful Rozi Plain, for whom I play guitar on and off.



In The Gardens of the North
Bella Union(2009)
There The Open Spaces