Short in the Sleeve
Gig Seeker Pro

Short in the Sleeve

Memphis, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | AFM

Memphis, Tennessee, United States | AFM
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Folk




"Short in the Sleeve Releases New Album "A Message Lost Down the Wire""

Memphis-based indie-roots-pop band Short in the Sleeve put out today a new album called "A Message Lost Down the Wire." They'll mark the event with a release party Friday night, April 22, at Otherlands Coffee Bar.

It's the band's first full-length album, a follow-up to the 2014 EP "A Broken Heart and Some Chords," which my colleague Bob Mehr called "a strong brace of material." The new release shows a more expansive sound, taking in both '90s-style pop-rock as well as folk/Americana influences.

Short in the Sleeve is led by vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter Jason Middlekauff, who shares harmony vocals with Candace Plaisance and complementary guitar parts with multi-instrumentalist Chris Mirante. Kyle Reed (bass) and Kevin Jenkins (drums) round out the five-piece band.

"A Message," recorded at High/Low Recording with Pete Matthews and Toby Vest, features well-crafted songs with some pleasingly symmetrical lyrics ("Some are gonna hurt you/some are gonna break your heart/but the clouds that'll gather won't block out the sun" on "No Reason to Run") and folky signifiers (Neil Young-type harmonica on "Emily"). Opener "Till You Came Along" is a driving pub-rocker with co-ed vocals that recall Lake Street Dive.

My favorite number is "One and the Same," featuring Middlekauff and Mirante on tightly arranged acoustic guitars. It's a story of regret over lost love: "I've seen you around with him/Does he sing you my songs?/The ones that melted your heart/Before I went and did you wrong." - Commercial Appeal


A Broken Heart and Some Chords (EP) - 2014
A Message Lost Down the Wire - 2016
Traces - 2019 (available 10/4)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Although Short in the Sleeve’s 2016 full-length debut, A Message Lost Down the Wire, found the band widening their range to what the Commercial Appeal’s Mark Richens described as “a more expansive sound, taking in both '90s-style pop-rock as well as folk/Americana influences,” acoustic guitar remained the heart of the band’s music.

That’s not the case on their new album, Traces, set for release in mid-October.

“Honestly, I’d started to grow a little bored with writing acoustic-based songs exclusively,” says Jason Middlekauff, the band’s frontman and primary songwriter.

“As much as folk rock and singer-songwriter stuff have shaped me as a listener and as an artist, I’ve been a sucker for an overdriven guitar all my life. Rock and power pop have influenced me just as much as—if not more than—acoustic-driven music, and I wanted to move in those directions.”

Fans of A Message Lost Down the Wire will recognize the band's folk-rock tendencies in a few songs, like the loping, punch-drunk waltz “Enough” and the ruminative ballad “Darkest Places.” But electric guitar is the foundation of Traces, from the crunchy, buoyant power pop of the opening 1-2 punch of "Burned" and "What Else Is New?” to the retro rock of “Feel You Everywhere” and the atmospheric whirl of “Twenty Years.” And when the band turns down the amps, it’s piano and keyboards that take center stage most often, as on the swaggering, stomping “Day in the Sun” and the synth-soaked “Anyway.”

Band Members