photos by Jeremy Farmer
Having just released their sophomore album, Not Even Dust
over a week ago, the members of Chicago’s Sleep Out give credit to an unusual muse: Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery, a park-like site that was designated a city landmark in 1971 and the inspiration for what Jim DeRogatis of the Chicago Sun-Times has called “one of the strongest indie-pop discs to emerge from the underground music scene in the new millennium.” The five-member group consisting of Nate Bartley, Sam Grant, Ben Geier, and Eddie Lo, with Quinn Goodwillie on guitar and vocals — debuted their first album in 2006. Goodwillie outlined his expectations for the critically well-received, “I Am Your Shroud” stating, “I think that our first big goal is to win Chicago over.” The band explains that their latest album, “Not Even Dust” is deeply rooted in the city of Chicago and inspired by a curious and ceaseless exploration of life’s unpredictable trajectory and undeniable endpoint” Influenced by The Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, The Cascades, Waylon Jennings, The Louvin Brothers, and Shudder To Think the band draws upon all of these individualist sounds to create a new sound in Chicago’s incredibly diverse music community.. Two short years since “I Am Your Shroud”, the band seems poised to reach a much larger audience. The decision to record in Portland with producer and label owner Dylan Magierek meshed perfectly with the stylistics and editing influences of Chicago’s Electrical Audio studios producing a polished album with intense depth. Finally Sleep Out has created their own “Graceland Cemetery” (which was featured as KEXP’s song of the week last Wednesday). For those of you in the Chicago area KEXP is hosting a listener event at the Darkroom with Sleep Out, presented by Equalizer and kicking off at 8:00 PM. If you enjoy Quinn Goodwillie and Ben Geier you should check out their other band, Mt. St. Helen’s, a”post-punk rock band.” As of 2007 they have released three full-length albums.