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Shoegazers Sleeping Bags Release Debut Album, Play Bootleg Tonight

Posted by Billy Gil, September 15, 2011 12:15pm | Post a Comment
As a diehard shoegaze fan, my ears tend to perk up any time I hear the following things: echo, reverb, tremolo, washed out vocals, densely layered guitars. So witnessing the birth of a true LA shoegaze band in the form of Sleeping Bags has been a pleasure.

The band consists of brothers and Princeton members Matt and Jesse Kivel (the latter also of Kisses), on guitar/vocals and drums/vocals, respectively, plus Abe Burns on guitar, David Lewis on bass and Mark Nieto on synths and other noise. Their self-titled debut, out now on Easter Everywhere, calls to mind swirling shoegaze maestros like Ride, Chapterhouse and Swervedriver, but with more of a willingness to explore synth-laden textural landscapes, akin to modern shoegazers like Airiel, Film School and The War on Drugs. Songly like “March of Gold” create inviting aural fields of sound with lovelorn melodies before igniting them with guitar fireworks.

Burns says the band formed when he and Matt Kivel worked at Daily Variety. (Hey, I worked there too! Ages ago though.) Burns says they practiced once before their first show, writing all of his parts during that first practice. Later, they added members, fleshed out the songs with more sonic texture, with Lewis of Gentle Hands coming on board last to add low-end sound.

Its great dream-pop aesthetic aside, the band also bonded over krautrock bands like Can, Neu!, Faust and Cluster, which can be seen in Jesse Kivel’s insistent beats in songs like “Park” or the more ambient, Eno-esque “Marine.”

“When we recorded, it was really LOUD,” Burns says. “I’ve never had to wear earplugs under my headphones. We cranked everything. I had my guitar going through my amp and a PA, you could 'feel' the sound moving around the room.”

The album, recorded in two days at KXLU, can be purchased at http://www.eastereverywhere.com and http://sleepingbags.bandcamp.com.  And if you can’t make it to the Bootleg tonight, chances are they’ll be playing Pehrspace again soon, where they’ve taken to playing every couple of months.

Show tonight:
Bootleg Theater
2220 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90057
$8
Sleeping Bags are on at 9 p.m., followed by Baron Von Luxxury, Robatanists and Spirit Animals

Relevant Tags

Film School (1), Airiel (1), The War On Drugs (10), Faust (2), Can Neu! (1), Ride (5), Princeton (3), Sleeping Bags (1), Krautrock (9), Dream Pop (8), Shoegazer (1), Shoegaze (26), Chapterhouse (3), Robatanists (1), Bootleg Theater (2), Kisses (7)