Day Sleeper
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Day Sleeper

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"New Friends: Day Sleeper"

Here's something refreshing: a new Wesleyan(ish) band that isn't from (or heading to) Brooklyn or playing synth-pop! The members of DAY SLEEPER are currently scattered across America (college happens), but the band originally formed in Newton, Massachusetts during those sweet, hormonal, halcyon days of high school. Fortunately for us, Day Sleeper's recently-released debut album, Drop Your Sword, reflects none of the angst or gawkiness typically associated with teenage rock and roll. Drop Your Sword is full of energetic hooks, jangly tambourine, and deliberately jarring feedback (not to mention hecka guitar in the spotlight). It's a little shoegazey and a lot playful. - Aural Wes


"If You Want To Keep Silent One Day: Day Sleeper - Drop Your Sword"

Soldiers from the home of the Boston Celtics, Day Sleeper have their own unique advantages. Their music combines warmth and cool, and is warm and sentimental. (Translated from Chinese) - From Summer...


"A Caged Lion"

Drop Your Sword has shoegaze, elementary math rock, fuzz rock and hippie folk in it. In this time where you can’t listen to an indie rock album from the start to finish, this is a surprising non-skipper. Check them out and be the first ones to brag about ‘em. - undomundo


"Day Sleeper - Drop Your Sword Review"

What attracted me to Day Sleeper was simply a sort of vibe the band gave off. Basically the band accomplishes a lot by doing very little. Day Sleeper really have a good sense of how to progress songs and not end in something overly saturated… that usually occurs with other bands of the same genre. In that sense, Day Sleeper’s major strength on Drop Your Sword is on the musical level… They created a set of songs that just simply work. They have a great sense of themselves… I love the fragile sound the band constructs and the shimmering melodies. It’s unlike a lot of the stuff I hear on various blogs these days, and that’s a huge strength. - awmusic.ca


"Day Sleeper - Drop Your Sword"

Flakes with the debut for these guys in Boston who spent more than a year before giving the prints Drop The Sword. The project starts from an unconditional love to the sound intensity typical of the golden era of feedback, however, that the singing must be heard. Well-thought in the melodies and arrangements, without diverting too much from the scheme pre-chosen: ‘echoey tambourines and lotsa guitars and vocalist Cas yet sits pretty squarely in the center of the mix.’ (Translated from Italian) - Discheria ElRocco 0.01


Discography

"Drop Your Sword" - 2009 Album

Appeared on "Crust Never Sleeps, Volume 1," 2009 compilation

Singles: "He's Racing Me," "Time and Place," and "For All I Know" featured on WZBC (Boston College radio)

"La Taille" featured on WERS (Emerson College Radio)

Misc. tracks streaming at www.myspace.com/daysleeper

Photos

Bio

Day Sleeper: Drop Your Sword

Cas Kaplan – guitar, vocals
Justin Danforth – guitar
Dan Ferm – bass
Luke Pyenson - drums

Although no one in the band has lived twenty years, the history of the band stretches back for a decade. “I was eight years old and really into that song ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ by Lit,” says Cas Kaplan, lead singer, songwriter and guitarist, “and so my dad taught it to his band and I sang it with them on stage a few times. That’s basically where it all started.” Cas’s dad, by the way, is Phil Kaplan, leader of seminal 80’s Boston indie band Men & Volts, of which his mother was also a member and several of whose gigs he attended while still in the womb. Refreshingly weird and quirky music is in his blood, and his dad’s music connections allowed him to have an early start in rock and roll: “Especially in the beginning, everything I had came from or through my dad. My guitar, my amp, and many of my effects pedals used to belong to him. They’re heirlooms.” Even Cas’s first gig at age eleven came about through his father – at one of his dad’s gigs, Cas and his older brother Wes (now of the Craters) hopped on stage in between sets as a bass and drums duo; as a result, an impressed Rick Berlin (of Orchestra Luna and the Shelley Winters Project) offered them a paying slot at the Lizard Lounge two months later.

The rest, for a while, was history – Cas was playing bass and singing in Insomniac, a band primarily inspired by punk rock that played mostly covers and a few original tunes written by Wes that did manage to greatly impress Joe Coughlin of prominent Boston indie zine The Noise, who wrote, “Thoroughly splendid. You guys keep it up, or you're grounded.” After a few years, though, Wes began to lose interest as his energy became more focused on the Craters – after nearly splintering, the band reformed with Cas handling second guitar, writing the songs, and rechristening the band Day Sleeper. With the new name came a new direction: “I discovered Blur and Television and everything changed. It became all about the two guitars.” The name Day Sleeper, to be clear, comes not from the song by REM, but rather the instrumental by Longwave that first exposed Cas to the shoegazing sound that continues to inspire him. During this time bassist Dan Ferm joined the fold, providing the backbone when needed as well as the perfectly placed unexpected turn. The years went by and Wes and the original guitarist graduated high school and left, after which the band settled on its current lineup. Drummer Luke Pyenson brings a unique rhythmic sense to the music and an understanding of how complex and world-influenced drumming can add to the richness of harmony, and Justin Danforth’s guitar work adds an element of expressiveness and his songwriting contribution “La Taille” underscores his gift for climactic and orchestrated space rock.

The band’s colorful history belies their youth – the debut, Drop Your Sword, was recorded when Cas and drummer Luke Pyenson were only seventeen years old. According to Cas, there is at least one song on Drop Your Sword that was written when he was only fourteen. “Our age always prevented us from being taken seriously as musicians, especially in high school when you’re trying to play clubs and none of your friends can go,” he says. “Hell, [engineer/producer] Will [Radin] was a sophomore when we recorded this. But I mean, listen to it. Does it sound like a bunch of kids?” Those who have heard it don’t seem to think so, and that figure includes the raving critics in four different countries who have lauded the band’s “energetic hooks, jangly tambourine, and deliberately jarring feedback.” (AURAL WES) The band prides itself on crafting its hooks from the dizzyingly complex interplay among the four instruments, including dense guitar harmonies and dynamic rhythmic interplay, as well as their ability to extract beauty from squalling noise. They have been noted for their ability to bring together a wide range of influences and synthesize them into a uniquely familiar brand of guitar pop, recalling the white noise cascades of My Bloody Valentine, the abrasive dynamics of Archers of Loaf, the cerebral dual fret-play of Television or Seam, and the dreamy grooves of the Stone Roses.

The debut, Drop Your Sword, was recorded in Cas’s basement and mixed and mastered on literally no budget; the handmade self-release was funded almost entirely on Cas’s meager salary as an Americorps volunteer along with generous donations from friends and family. The band considers the album to be nearly a decade in the making, and truly a labor of love. Some of these songs have been around for a while, but the band tear through them every time with fresh vitality at their reputably intense live shows. “What drives us is the belief,” Cas says. “We believe that we’re doing something great and that people want to hear it. We want the people who see us and hear us to believe in it as much as we do – t