Sleepy Driver excited for fans to hear new 11-song recording (by Adam Bowie, Daily Gleaner)
It’s an exciting time for Fredericton-based roots-rock band Sleepy Driver — time to put their highly anticipated sophomore album release, In a Low Dark Light, out there for all to enjoy.
And fortunately for the many local music fans who have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new 11-song collection, which hit store shelves and became available as a digital download earlier this week, this record serves as an exciting snapshot of where the extremely talented band is right now.
It’s filled with slick guitar riffs, polished, tasteful keys, groove worthy rhythm tracks and makes space for characters that wouldn’t seem out of place at the end of the brass rail in your local watering hole.
Gritty rockers like Silverback Dog, Mile Marker, and He Said Her Name mesh well with the soaring, beautiful Losing My Fear, the playful Baby Don’t, and the comfortable, confident opening track The Night.
The band’s been working on recording, mixing, and mastering the album since Dec. 2010 and they’re excited the record is finally out there for fans to enjoy.
“You’re excited to let people hear it, you’re excited to let people see the fruits of your labour, and to get the feedback that you hope justifies all the effort that you put into it,” said Peter Hicks, the band’s lead singer and rhythm guitarist.
For some of these songs, it’s not until the last moment, really, when they’re mastered, that some of them come alive. We’ve lived with them, we’ve agonized over them, we’ve done different versions of them for some songs along the way, but really when you get down into the mixing and mastering stage, putting in some of that space and ambience, [it’s then] that they really evolve into what you’d hoped they’d become.
Sleepy Driver found an audience with 2009’s Steady Now, a great roots rock record that earned nominations from the East Coast Music Awards, helped them win a Galaxie Rising Star award, and secure radio play from stations across the globe.
Hicks says he’s happy the band continues to evolve its sound, choosing not to rest on its laurels during the recording of In a Low Dark Light.
“I’m most proud of the fact that it’s not the same record, that we didn’t just say ‘Hey, these are the most popular songs from the first record. Let’s do new versions of these songs,'” he said.
“We consciously went into this one with the intention of expanding our palettes a little bit. We tried to create sounds that hadn’t been created before and cover some areas that we hadn’t explored on the first one”.
By taking the time to make the record they wanted to make, Hicks said that they also had an opportunity to let the creative process unfold in an organic way.
“If you go back to Steady Now, the band, in its current lineup, was just getting together at that time. For instance, by the time we had Ethan and Mike laying down their parts [for that album] some of the drums had already been recorded. So there was very little chance for input,” he said.
“I think the great thing about this record is that before we even pressed it, we spent a long time arranging the songs. I feel like you can hear it in the musical bits, the stops and starts, the arrangements.