Afternoon Naps
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Afternoon Naps

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The best kept secret in music


"Sunbeamed UK review"

The Afternoon Naps are a six piece based in Cleveland, Ohio. Sunbeamed is their d├ębut album and consists of eight slabs of sunny indie pop some of which I doubt will be bettered this year.

It's got everything an indie pop fan would want. Handclaps, boy girl vocals, a few la la las' and trumpets which go up against the tuneful melodies that are inspired from 1960's surf and bubblegum pop to 1980's jangle pop Britain.

Some of the tracks are as near to indie pop perfection as you could wish for. Orange Paw and Postcard are meltingly divine whilst the instrumentals in the shape of Argyle Spring and the title track could almost be described as jangle pop chillout. They even sound like Orange Juice remixed by New Order on the summer version of Winter Olympics!

Those in the medical profession have been advising on the benefits of afternoon naps for years. I now can recommend them for the benefits they will bring to your ears. Get this 23 minute prescription now! -

"Children of the Sunbeamed"

Naps time - Local band celebrates summer's end.
If staring at that pile of sweaters in the back of your closet makes you feel sort of sad and itchy, you can find solace in the music of Afternoon Naps. Born out of singer-guitarist Tom Dechristafaro's obsession with obscure '60s sunshine pop, they have a sound that feels light-hearted and fresh even when the subject matter is as somber as summer's end.

"I kind of had this little bedroom project - I didn't know what to do with it, it was kind of electronic-y," says Dechristafaro. "I lived with the Dreadful Yawns, and they were saying you should meet this girl who plays piano and stuff."

That girl is Leia Hohenfeld, the Naps bespectacled singer, keyboardist/organist and general glee-giver, who adds, "At the time I was in the Volta Sound. Ben [of the Dreadful Yawns] had told me that Tom was looking for a girl singer for an electronic pop band. It was the two of us for almost a year."

The music that Dechristafaro and Hohenfeld produced together was not electronic-y. It was earnest indie pop that celebrated the cute without being cutesy, and paid homage to the '60s sound without simply mimicking it. During this period, Dechristafaro and Hohenfeld wrote half the songs that appear on the Naps' new album, Sunbeamed. "Bun-bun" is a darling tale about the rabbit-in-residence of a notorious underground Cleveland venue. Hohenfeld sighs and fondly recalls their late furry rock-loving comrade. "Bun-bun is...was a rock 'n' roll bunny who lived at the Tower. She was a loose bunny who ran around but was house-trained, and litter box-trained."

"She probably died of smoke inhalation or something," Dechristafaro adds.

Dechristafaro and Hohenfeld didn't take things to the next level until a push from a friend in October 2006.

"Dave P of the Very Knees booked us a show before we even had a band and was like "You're playing,' so we threw a band together overnight," says Dechristafaro.

Drawn from a cast of friends and bandmates, the Afternoon Naps grew to include drummer Ben Gmetro (The Dreadful Yawns, The Volta Sound), bassist Mike Allan (The Dreadful Yawns, The Volta Sound), trumpeter Steph (Expecting Rain) and NYC talent Gus Payne on organ, percussion and beach balls.

The Afternoon Naps morphed from a duo into a mini-orchestra overnight, and its sound evolved with it. After a few months of playing out at venues like the Happy Dog and the Beachland Tavern, the Naps were studio-bound. "We started recording on Super Bowl Sunday - Tim Gehrak of Six Parts Seven started recording it and then found he was going on tour with Richard Buckner, so we sat on it until May. It was literally done on the coldest day of the year."

Since then, the band has performed with many of its musical mentors - Voxtrot, Of Montreal and Ladybug Transistor, and at the Toledo Indie Pop Fest with Cleveland bands like Bears and the Helper


September 21 is the official end of summer, and to commemorate it, the Beachland Tavern is hosting "An Afternoon with the Afternoon Naps," a launch party for Sunbeamed. The album is full of breezy harmonies. Topics of the songs range from shoeboxes full of postcards to stray cats, and the occasional dose of something less than optimistic. From "Winter Olympics" to "Argyle Spring," the Naps carry you from season to season. But how do the summer-centric Naps fare in colder climes? Dechristafaro slumps his shoulders.

"I don't know how I'm gonna feel about winter," he says.

"I know how you're gonna feel about winter," Hohenfeld chuckles to herself and replies. "You're gonna wear argyle ascots and turtleneck sweaters." - Emily Anderson, Cleveland Free Times

"Casper and the Cookies"

Casper and the Cookies

Beachland Tavern

Wednesday, May 2

It was another near-perfect line-up for another Tavern show that, despite an enthusiastic audience, was severely underappreciated by the general Cleveland populous. Local twee-pop darlings the Afternoon Naps delivered an enthusiastic opening set that left a few broken tambourines in its wake. The Naps' cute, earnest and unassuming attitude towards its music is a welcome substitute for the requisite rock 'n' roll badass posturing of less talented local bands. Casper and the Cookies' tourmates the Icicles were next on the bill, and were easy to pick out in the crowd with their retro-inspired stagewear designed by their keyboardist, who only agreed to join the band on the merit of her abilities as a seamstress rather than a musician. The Icicles borrow from both the sound and style of '60s girl groups, and garnish it with indie sensibilities and a general "hip to be square" approach towards their music. Never has a request to "raise the roof" or a cover of Poison's "Talk Dirty To Me" seemed more endearing.
- Cleveland Free Times


Sunbeamed-2007 debut full length release


Feeling a bit camera shy


Originally a duo that's expanded to a sextet, Afternoon Naps come from Cleveland, Ohio. We think we're up-to-date with cool kids but we are really just a bunch of beach bums. Living by the frigid banks of Lake Erie, all we know is sweater weather, cursed sports teams, and an uninspired rock museum. Together, we play modernist classic pop (ha! just made that one up) that i think combines the picturesque simplicity of Felt and Free Design, with the "California myth" of the 1960's. Adopting a "verse-chorus-verse-chorus-end!" motto, most of our short songs, get right to the point. Who needs all that repetition in their lives anyway? Having released a debut long-player "Sunbeamed" (which clocks in at a whopping 21 minutes!) we've enjoyed sharing shows with many like-minded pop loving bands...