Minneapolis’ Sleeping in the Aviary recently released their fourth album, You and Me, Ghost and are currently out on a U.S. tour, while today they are premiering two brand new videos directed by Christopher Heubach with PopMatters. The band has been mining the classic sounds of the ‘50s and ‘60s and painting a contemporary sheen on them since day one. They began with the poppy-punk of Oh, This Old Thing? (2007), began exploring indie-folk on Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel (2008), and expanded into a bit of soul on Great Vacation (2010). This time around they add some doo-wop flourishes to their pop. Is this the year for the doo-wop comeback or what? Despite the wide-ranging musical curiosity and joyful adaptation of classic musical forms, Sleeping in the Aviary remains at their heart, a pop band, offering up instantly catchy and memorable tunes.
Check out the new videos below, as well as a few MP3s and the band’s upcoming tour dates.
Now we’re going to let the band’s frontman, Elliot Kozel, tell you a bit about these two new tunes from You and Me, Ghost...
“‘Talking Out of Turn’ was shot in our old practice space. Little trivia factoid. The song was written for a friend of mine the night before we started recording his album. I was trying to write him a song that sounds like Weezer. He ended up having enough of his own songs for that album so I got use it for ours. Its about a girl who I had a huge crush on that works at a grocery store and trying to get her to talk to me because she was very shy. ‘So Lonely’, Kyle Sobczak wrote in the park one day. Once or twice a week when the weather is nice me and most of the band go to the park and force each other to write a song in less than an hour. This is one of those songs. The demo version is drugged out and twice as slow. The girl sitting next to kyle on the beach is his girlfriend from ‘Karen You’re an Angel’ fame.”
Meanwhile the director Christopher Heubach, says “The videos grew out of the larger idea of making an old school Sleeping in the Aviary infomercial. We needed each video segment to be unique and have a vague reference to a particular era or style of video. Since we were making 12 segments of music videos (one for each of the songs on ‘You and Me, Ghost’), it seemed wasteful to not make at least a few of the videos full length.”
Christopher Heubach: “‘Talking Out of Turn’ is a classic studio video, inspired by clips of iconic bands of the ‘60s making videos in their famous creative spaces, such as the Beatles and Abbey Road. While Sleeping in the Aviary doesn’t have Abbey Road, they do have a hot claustrophobic attic in South Minneapolis. It was in the ‘90s the weekend we shot these videos and everyone was roasting in that tiny space, five band members and four crew members along with two large movie lights. Because I wanted it to feel as though six or seven cameras were in the room, we had to do multiple takes, some with playback, others as live performance. But the band’s energy never wavered, despite the 13-hour day previous and the oppressive heat. We got the frenetic performance that the song needed.”
Christopher Heubach: “‘So Lonely’ is an homage to Super 8 beach films. Old home movies can be both nostalgic and sad, which is how the song made me feel… We shot it at a beach on Lake Calhoun, a few hours after the ‘Talking Out of Turn’ video was shot. It was the perfect way to end a two-day epic video shoot. This shoot was as fun as it looks in the video… the only tough part was making sure we got through my shot list before the sunset. Because the song is about isolation among friends, I planned several moments of modest cruelty to play out in the video… dumping water over someone, smashing a sand castle, etc…. but I almost never had to ask them to do it to each other, they seemed to just know when to be mean to each other. Such professionals.”
10.6 Richmond, VA @ Sprout
10.7 Raleigh, NC @ Yerducken House (house show)
10.8 Charleston, SC @ Tin Roof
10.9 Columbia, SC @ Haunted House
10.11 Winston-Salem, NC @ Elliott’s Revue
10.12 Charlotte, NC @ Sewarcide Mansion (house show)
10.13 Athens, GA @ TBA
10.14 Atlanta, GA @ The 529
10.15 Tallahassee, FL @ Retrofit Records
10.16 New Orleans @ The Saint
10.17 Shreveport, LA @ Dalzell House
10.18 Little Rock, AR @ Super Happy Funland
10.19 Fayatteville, AR @ Smoke and Barrel
10.20 Houston, TX @ Super Happy Funland Houston
10.21 Austin, TX @ Hole in the Wall
10.22 San Antonio, TX @ The Ten Eleven
10.24 Tulsa, OK @ Soundpony
10.25 Wichita, KA @ Kirby’s
10.26 Kansas City, MO @ Cold House
10.27 Lincoln, NE @ Clawfoot House
10.28 Minneapolis, MN @ Hell’s Kitchen
10.29 Minneapolis, MN @ Hexagon
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times.