7sleepers is 7 songs about 7 that might put you to sleep. It was recorded over a period of 7 years (or so) in a home studio in Michigan USA.
You can listen here.
7sleepers started as a relatively conventional acoustic singer-songwriter project (think Gordon Lightfoot), but things got a little weird when I started mixing (think Brian Eno). It’s mostly ambience and acoustic guitar and vocals, with occasional electric guitar and synth. Almost no percussion at all. I left in a lot of the “rough edges” because I thought they helped to create a sense of space. Which is to say, I thought they sounded cool.
So what’s the deal with the number seven? Fair question. I don’t think anyone knows for sure. The number just keeps showing up in all sorts of mythological and religious contexts pretty much all over the world. It seems to be most common in the Middle East, but it also shows up in Hindu and Buddhist and Native American cultures. Most notably here.
7sleepers got a few really good reviews and one really bad review.
- Andy Armageddon, BandJack.com ...
- “ ... undeniably hypnotic ... a nicely-executed, low-key album designed to worm its way into the listener’s subconscious ...”
- Raffaello Russo, MusicWontSaveYou.com ...
- “ ... breathtaking sounds which are at once dreamy and ghostly ... in harmony with the slow movement of nature and vital pulsations ... ”
- Full translation here
- Marco Fiori, Kathodik ...
- “ ... the perceived relaxation which the title evokes is happily achieved; and accomplished through a professional package that creates well the gaseous atmosphere ... ”
- Full translation here
- James, Lone Frequencies ...
- “ ... a dreamy oasis of gentle and subtle tones interspersed with thoughtful lyrics ... ”
- Jacob, Lone Frequencies ...
- “ ... ominous, intelligent, inevitable ... ”
- Iris Hidding, Grendel HQ ...
- “ ... dreamy and beautiful ... ”
- Allison Shephard, Slug Magazine ...
- “ ... this album would be exponentially better as a more orchestral piece ... if I’m going to be sleeping to this, it’s bound to give me nightmares ... ”
- 7sleepers has been compared to ...
- ... Sylvain Chauveau, Sufjan Stevens, Michael Gira, Egle Sommacal, R.E.M., Stars of the Lid, Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, John Darnielle, Daft Punk ...
- ... and then there’s this tweet from the mastering engineer :-)
Serious artists aren’t supposed to care about chart positions, but I love ’em so here goes: 7sleepers charted #9 at KMNR in Rolla MO, #12 at KRUA in Anchorage AK, #14 at WEFT in Champaign IL, #15 at CFBX in Kamloops BC, #17 at CITR in Vancouver BC, #26 at KEUL in Glacier City AK, #27 at KRUI in Iowa City IA, #27 at CHUO in Ottawa ON and #28 at CKUT in Montreal QC.
7sleepers also gets spins on 69 other stations locally and globally like KSDB in Manhattan KS, KWLC in Decorah IA, WECS in Willimantic CT, Radio Phoenix in Phoenix AZ, WSYC in Shippensburg PA, Paranoise Radio in Greece, CATV on the RADIO in United Kingdom, Radio Adelaide in Australia, ISKC Rock Radio in the Netherlands and Radio Città del Capo in Italy.
And 7sleepers reached #441 on Muzooka’s national college radio chart :-)
I also did a really cool and really short interview with another music site that closed up shop before it got published. Q+A below. Cheers!
7questions with 7answers from 7sleepers
- 1) Who are you and what do you do?
- Robin aka 7sleepers. I work, I play, I sleep.
- 2) What are you working on at the moment?
- Nothing creative. Reading, riding my bicycle. Things I haven’t done in a while.
- 3) What inspires you?
- Name an artist who has inspired you: If I have to choose one, I’ll go with Miles Davis. He was open to all kinds of music and art, whether it was American or foreign, popular or avante garde, primal or intellectual. His best music is like an ocean, turbulent, with moments of beauty appearing and disappearing in and out of the chaos. His music was a force of nature, but also symbolic of the creative forces that motivate all of us.
- Name place that has inspired you: Ethiopia, cradle of humanity! They’re wonderful people and I was treated like royalty. And the music is really cool, it’s like African rhythms with Arabic melodies mixed with Ethiopia’s own unique vibe. But it’s also where we all come from, so it feels like home, but it’s a home that most of us have been away from for thousands of years. Maybe it was just my imagination, but I had a strange feeling of distant memories coming back to life.
- Name some “thing” that has inspired you: Humanity, life, and all natural forces.
- 4) What drives you to do what you do?
- Momentum. Being human. Life is about moving forward. I think we move forward because that’s what we’ve always done.
- 5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
- I hope that the listener gets something positive from the music, but I don’t try to influence what that might be. I don’t deliberately try to instill values or a message in the music, I think that would be a distraction, although perhaps I’m doing it subconsciously anyway. For me, music is primarily escapism. It’s a way of disconnecting from reality and traveling to another time and space. So the music is kind of like a spaceship, but I’m not controlling where the spaceship goes. I don’t know if the listener is either. It’s just going.
- 6) What role does community play in what you do?
- I think artists tend to be on the fringes of community. We’re mostly influenced by our immediate surroundings, but we’re often looking outside the community to see what else is going on. We might bring outside ideas into our community, or we might get drawn away from our community entirely.
- 7) What is next for what you do?
- No ideas, no plans! Possibly nothing, but probably something :-)
7sleepers has gone to sleep. 7sleepers will awake in 7 years.