Song of the Day: Sleepy Eyes of Death – Mean Time Till Failure

photo by Vanessa Arquillano

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Morning Show host John Richards, is Mean Time Till Failure by Sleepy Eyes of Death from the 2007 album Street Lights For A Ribcage available on Sleep Capsule.

Sleepy Eyes of Death – Mean Time Till Failure (MP3)While they take their name from a popular and long-running series of samurai movies, Seattle’s Sleepy Eyes of Death are more in line with French electronica or British shoegaze than any Eastern musical influences — that being said, the songs on Street Lights For A Ribcage would have fit incredibly well on the soundtrack for Lost in Translation (set in Japan), alongside the work of Kevin Shields, of course, and Death in Vegas. Either that or, dare I say it, next to Tangerine Dream’s “Love on a Real Train” — you know, the song playing in Risky Business as Joel and Lana get it on in a train car.

Two of the band’s openly acknowledged inspirations, Kraftwerk and M83, are other obvious touchstones sonically and instrumentally. Like both bands, Sleepy Eyes of Death share a love for analog synths and sounds, favoring Moog, Korg, and a vocoder, but they especially share M83’s ability to create a cinematic experience. This is not mood music or background music that you turn on just to tune out, but rather it is music by which you journey through physical or mental space. Sleepy Eyes of Death create music that takes you some place — maybe even by train.

Be sure to check out the band’s website and MySpace page. On August 8, Sleepy Eyes of Death will join Voyager One and Grand Hallways at Neumo’s for an full sensory experience filled with smoke machines, projections, and lights. Meanwhile, here’s another song from the band’s 2005 self-titled debut EP:

Sleepy Eyes of Death – Retrograde Summer (MP3)

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