An emerging indie rock band out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, The Sleeping World features original songs by Jessica Smucker, a successful poet whose recent foray into the music world has birthed a new breed of sinister love songs. Melding her literary sensibilities with her breathy, intimate voice, Smucker is able to accurately, and painfully, describe not just the external world but the inner depths of her being in a way that draws the listener in to an experience that can be both cathartic and uncomfortable.
Comparable to groups like 10,000 Maniacs and Over the Rhine in both sound and scope, The Sleeping World strives to create music that matters, music that can make some impact on the state of the world. The music comes first, but the message is never far behind--issues of faith, sensuality, relationships, where the past meets the present and hints at possible futures. Thematically, The Sleeping World resembles U2 in its exploration of the co-existence of the secular and the sacred--but whereas U2 reaches outward toward global definition, Smucker looks within, bravely asserting her personal stories and insights as little mirrors for the world.
Formed in early 2007, The Sleeping World quickly gained notoriety in the Lancaster, PA music scene, and has begun breaking into other regional markets. This isn't the kind of band to trickle into listeners' consciousness and win them over time; they take their audiences by storm, eliciting immediate visceral reactions and commanding the attention of new devotees everywhere they go.
Jessica Smucker, lead vocals/keyboard
Erin Mattern, background vocals
Rich Sexton, guitar
Dave Sheaffer, bass
Mike Roy, drums
The Sleeping World EP - release date August 23, 2008
XPN Philly Local Pick of the Day 9/9/08
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Philly Local Pick of the Day 9/9/08: "You'll Forgive Me" Sleeping World EP The Sleeping World ...Philly Local Pick of the Day 9/9/08:
"You'll Forgive Me"
Sleeping World EP
The Sleeping World
Blues meets Indie rock band, The Sleeping World, is certainly not asleep on the local music scene. Since their conception in 2007 the group has managed to earn themselves recognition in magazines, as well as, rapidly garnering a vast fan base. Fronted by singer/songwriter Jessica Smucker Falcon, this group strives to create music that will impact the world and between Falcon's lyrical honesty and insight their songs may achieve just that. Be sure to catch this awesome group live September 20th at the Lancaster Dispensing Company located in Lancaster, PA or catch them at our Philly Local Showcase.
It's time for another WXPN Philly Local Showcase, but this one is special. Featuring only artists from Central PA, this is a show you won't want to miss. Hosted at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA. You can expect to see some of Central PA's finests artist like Slimfit, Farewell Flight, and pick of the day The Sleeping World! Check back in tomorrow for more info on the WXPN Central Pa Local Showcase!
XPN Philly Local Pick of the Day 8/11/08 & 8/20/08
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Philly Local Pick of the Day 08/11/08 & 8/20/08: "You'll Forgive Me" The Sleeping World EP The ...Philly Local Pick of the Day 08/11/08 & 8/20/08:
"You'll Forgive Me"
The Sleeping World EP
The Sleeping World
Based in Lancaster, The Sleeping World features original songs by Jessica Smucker Falcon. Emerging onto the Philly music scene as an indie rock band, The Sleeping World brings a new take on sinister love songs. The Sleeping World however isn't just making sappy love songs to cry to. They strive to create music that will make an impact on the world. Looking inward, Falcon opens her heart to listeners, sharing her joys and pains. Having been compared to 10,000 Maniacs and Over the Rhine, The Sleeping World is a force to be reckoned with on stage. Luckily for you, this talented band has quite a few live dates in the near future.
Their album release will be held on August 23rd at The Chameleon Club in Lancaster. You don't want to miss it!!
A Beautiful Piece of Heartache...
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John Keats once wrote about the miracle of melancholia, the idea that only by experiencing sorrow ca...John Keats once wrote about the miracle of melancholia, the idea that only by experiencing sorrow can a person know true joy.
That idea – the “fertility of pain” – is what makes the music of Jessica Smucker Falcon and her band of merry men, The Sleeping World, so affecting. The songs are woven with a sort of defiant sadness, a square-jawed resilience that only comes once you’ve been knocked off your feet a few times and lived to tell about it.
Also a successful poet (and writer, casting director and film production coordinator), Smucker Falcon has a knack, if not a compulsion, for dumping out her proverbial purse on the table. She’s been writing music for about eight years, and poetry for even longer, so the process of digging deep into her personal history for lyrical fodder is more or less like second nature.
“It’s not scary, but it’s tricky,” she explains. “The idea of exposing my raw nerves to strangers is less daunting than the task of doing it right. The closer the song is to my heart – the more it taps into a pocket of pain that is still active for me – the harder it is for me to accept anything less than a smooth, perfect performance.”
Musically, The Sleeping World has a few obvious touchstones – melody-centric writers like Over The Rhine, Patty Griffin and Leonard Cohen (the band got its name from a Cohen quote), as well as several female artists (Liz Phair, PJ Harvey, Alanis Morissette) for whom timidity has never been an issue. At times lilting, shuffling, uplifting and melancholic, the music is also characterized by a certain menacing factor, something sinister lurking just under the surface, like swallowed anger.
“Sometimes, in order to work through a philosophical question or problem that’s eating at me, I have to go to this dark, sinister place in my mind and dredge up the roots of the problem in order to find my way to the other side of it,” Smucker Falcon says. “I’m conscious of it. I’m self- conscious about it. I worry that it will be misunderstood.
“There’s a lot of heavy shit in these songs, but I write them because I’m trying to find something true.”
While Smucker Falcon has been writing music as an emotional outlet for years, it wasn’t until early 2007 that, at the encouragement of some musician friends, she entertained the idea of it being an actual pursuit. After tossing a few songs out into the ether, she was able to attract an able-bodied cast of players to back her, including (after a few personnel shifts) Lancaster mainstays Matt Underhill and Tommy Leanza. And before she knew it, The Sleeping World just kind of was.
“It started happening in spite of me. I didn’t seek it out. It found me,” Smucker Falcon says. “I had just moved back to the area, was recently divorced, between jobs … Everything about my life at the time was transitional, so I had this enhanced openness to the whims of fate – or whatever. I figured if I let myself float for a while, I might end up somewhere good. And I did.
“It’s been the most challenging and rewarding creative pursuit of my life so far,” she adds.
The Sleeping World is currently in the midst of recording its debut EP, with a full-length album to follow within the year. Beyond that, the band will continue to spread that little miracle of melancholia around the midstate and collect more fans – like the one who decided to show her appreciation by making Smucker Falcon a battery-operated light-up bra.
“I thought that was the best thing ever – even though I’ll probably never have the guts to wear it on stage,” she laughs. “I’m a sucker for a good story, so for me it’s a highlight when something weird happens. For example, if some drunk lady comes up to me after a show and starts petting my dress or giving me wet kisses on my ears, it’s kind of a highlight.”
To each her own.
Good Will Hinton Interviews Ken Mueller of WXPN
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http://www.goodwillhinton.com/good_will_hinton_interviews_ken_mueller_of_wxpn Short segment about...http://www.goodwillhinton.com/good_will_hinton_interviews_ken_mueller_of_wxpn
Short segment about The Sleeping World at 22:33.
I Threw a Brick Through a Window (blog)
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http://brickthroughwindow.blogspot.com/ "The Sleeping World - on the Gonna Make it Big Someday st...http://brickthroughwindow.blogspot.com/
"The Sleeping World - on the Gonna Make it Big Someday stage"
Excerpts from solicited reviews
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"The Sleeping World's swirling, ambient sound is the proverbial 'sheep's clothing' that wraps itself..."The Sleeping World's swirling, ambient sound is the proverbial 'sheep's clothing' that wraps itself around singer/poet Jessica Smucker Falcon's slightly subversive lyrical reflections on matters sacred and secular."
- Steve Ward, singer/songwriter
(Albums: "Opening Night," "See and Be Seen")
Original Song List:
The All Clear
The Blues Are Here to Stay
Dear John Letter to Jesus
*Land of Goshen
Love is a Date Rape Drug
Love Song for the Apocalypse
No One But Myself
Party Like We're Free
Rattle My Chain
Same Time Every Year
Sweet and Broken
There and Back Again
The Will to Sing
With Us or Against Us
*You'll Forgive Me
(* on The Sleeping World EP)
Cover Song List
(a sampling of the cover songs we perform live):
Dolly Parton - Jolene
Fiona Apple - Sleep to Dream
KT Tunstall - Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
M. Ward – Sad Sad Song
PJ Harvey – This is Love
XTC - Dear God
There are no upcoming dates at this time.