Sleepy Kitty
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Sleepy Kitty

Saint Louis, Missouri, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | INDIE

Saint Louis, Missouri, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Alternative Rock

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"Exclusive Video Premiere: Sleepy Kitty "Hold Yr Ground""

If you ask me, "girl power" should definitely be an official music genre--and if it were, bands like St. Louis' Sleepy Kitty would definitely fall under that category. Even though this glam grunge duo also consists of a man, it is fronted by blonde bombshell Paige Brubeck, whose totally pretty, high-pitched voice is reminiscent of both '60s girl groups and modern surf rock. Paired with back-up vocals and folk-y guitar riffs from bandmate, Evan Sult, Sleepy Kitty provides the ultimate anthem to your independent-woman fall 2014 adventures, the perfect soundtrack to swaying along with falling leaves--and to crunching them under your Dr Martens when you're just a little ticked off.

In our exclusive premiere of their latest video for "Hold Yr Ground" you'll feel like you're following the band around town, at their live shows from SXSW '14, and at practice--all while wearing 3-D glasses.

Oh, and if all of this wasn't cool enough, the musicmakers also have their own print shop which goes by the same name as their band--and, yes, which they use to make their very own posters for their very own gigs--so rad! - Nylon


"Sleepy Kitty "Don't You Start" video premiere"

Look! It's a band! It's a screen-printing project! No, it's Sleepy Kitty! Watch this St. Louis duo make art punk fun and a very inky animation for the song "Don't You Start," cut two from Sleepy Kitty's 2014 album, Projection Room.

As is obvious from that album title and from this video, the members of Sleepy Kitty have a visual side to their sound making. Singer/guitarist Paige Brubeck sent us an email to explain: "Sleepy Kitty started as a band and a screenprinting collaboration basically at the same time, but most of the time they're kind of separate things for us. I got the idea to do a screen printed animation."

Screen-printing, for those of the digital generation, is a process of printing to a wide variety of surfaces including fabric and paper using ink and wire mesh. Both Paige Brubeck and drummer Evan Sult (ex. Harvey Danger), still use this technique in their studio space in the middle of Cherokee Street in St. Louis, Mo. Making a five minute animation using screen printing is a daunting affair, so they decided to show the printmaking process in order to flesh out the video.

"We thought it would be interesting to show some of the process in the printing studio, so we got our friend Bill Streeter, who we'd worked with on some live videos, involved for the cinematography," Paige Brubeck wrote. "He helped us streamline our process on the animation, which was great because when we did the math my process broke down to an hour of work for each second of animation. I feel like the final result that we have is a document of our process and both sides of Sleepy Kitty." That other side — the music — is also bright colorful and relatively analog, with leanings toward The Ramones or '60s girl groups if Brian Eno had taken up the production. Good fun! - NPR


"Sleepy Kitty offers a peek into 'Projection Room'"

St. Louis’ edgy two-piece act Sleepy Kitty was supposed to release its latest album, “Projection Room,” at a concert this weekend at the Pageant. That was the plan, at least.

The concert goes on Friday night with Sleepy Kitty, Sleeping with Annie, the Incurables and the Blind Eyes, but Sleepy Kitty is now just promoting a new St. Louis-friendly single titled “Hold Yr Ground.” The new album is pushed back to Jan. 14.

Sleepy Kitty’s Paige Brubeck (vocals, guitar, keyboards) explains what went down.

“I know it’s not the first time in the history of rock ’n’ roll that a band announced a date and changed the date,” she jokes. “Jimmy Griffin from the Incurables put this show on, and we were so superexcited about doing something at the Pageant. We haven’t played there since the Dresden Dolls. And it looked like a good time to release it.”

But what she and Sleepy Kitty’s Evan Sult (drums, vocals, tapes) realized was that “it was getting away from us — setting up the album and having enough time to do everything right, everything it takes to do an album. We were running out of time.”

Sleepy Kitty wants a vinyl version of “Projection Room” to accompany the digital and CD versions of the project, but the vinyl wasn’t ready for this weekend.

“Vinyl takes longer to make, so we had to either rush it or postpone and release a single off the new record and put off the album,” she says.

Brubeck also says this gives them more time to work on distribution for “Projection Room,” which was completed a month ago, as well as more time to film videos for the project. The band will also go on tour.

The artwork to “Projection Room” is shot and includes a photo by musician, photographer and radio host Bob Reuter, who died tragically earlier this month.

“Hold Yr Ground,” is all about Cherokee Street, where Brubeck and Sult work and live. (Their Sleepy Kitty Arts creates posters, album artwork and more.)

“A lot of people are talking about Cherokee Street; it has come a long way,” she says. “It was a ghost town, but now there are new bars, venues, restaurants and artists. I’m reflecting on what’s happening in our neighborhood and improvements.”

“Hold Yr Ground” was written before the shooting this summer that left four people dead on Cherokee Street, but the song has a lyric she says applies to the incident.

“There’s a line about there being no place like Cherokee,” she says. “A lot of crime has happened there, but there’s also a lot of good things, and that line in the song is acknowledging that.”

The “Hold Yr Ground” single also includes two other new songs, “I Wanna Be Your Man” and “Go Go & Tommy,” which aren’t expected to be on “Projection Room.”

Brubeck says “Projection Room” feels like a different album from “Infinity City” in 2011, though the layered vocals and harmonies and use of field recordings are in full effect.

“Before, we were just learning how to play together and how to write songs and how to fit together,” she says. “But on this record we’ve got that figured out already. We’ve figured out our style, stretched out on pieces and we’re doing songs we wouldn’t have been able to tackle earlier.”

- St. Louis Post-Dispatch


"Telling St. Louis' Story: Sleepy Kitty talks Projection Room"

On Friday, August 23, Sleepy Kitty will play perhaps its biggest local concert in the nearly five years the band has resided in St. Louis. The duo — drummer Evan Sult and singer, guitarist and pianist Paige Brubeck — will share the Pageant stage with the Blind Eyes, Shooting With Annie and the Incurables. Special guests have been booked; an all-cast sing-along has been hinted at for the encore. It has the makings of a memorable evening, a true celebration of local talent and musical osmosis.
But there's one small hiccup: The date was planned as a release show for Projection Room, Sleepy Kitty's sophomore LP. In the eleventh hour, the band and its label, local imprint Euclid Records, decided to push the release until January 14, citing concerns about frontloading promotion, insuring the arrival of vinyl pressings and a few other public-relations minutiae. (For a more thorough story on the delay, head to RFTMusic.com.)
To its credit, the band is not bailing on the "release" angle of this once-called "release show." Instead of the full-length, fans can purchase the "Hold Yr Ground" single, which teases the album and will contain a B-side and a cover of the Beatles' "I Wanna Be Your Man."
A few weeks before the decision was made to delay the release, RFT Music talked with Brubeck and Sult in their Cherokee Street loft space where the couple lives, screen-prints posters and rehearses. The discussion ranged from the evolution of the band's songwriting process to the changing face of their neighborhood, for which they serve as unofficial cheerleaders.
Christian Schaeffer: What do you think has changed from Infinity City to Projection Room, in the fundamentals of how you write a song?
Evan Sult: To me, Infinity City ended up being a document of our move from Chicago to St. Louis. We didn't realize it at the time, but we really ended up memorializing Chicago with the songs written about Chicago and introducing ourselves to the city, both in the sense of "Hello, we're Sleepy Kitty," but also finding out what was so exciting about it. You can tell — we have St. Louis all over the artwork and Chicago all over the artwork. It was a real city-based thing.
Paige Brubeck: From my perspective, a lot of the songs that were recorded and released for Infinity City were written before Sleepy Kitty was official. A lot of those songs, I had versions I could play all the way through acoustically. Projection Room was way less of that — it feels more like compositions for Sleepy Kitty, versus songs that Sleepy Kitty does.
Sult: I think Infinity City is sort of a document of us learning how to work together, and then Projection Room is more, like, working together. We both bring in different things, but we're using each other to complete our ideas. Projection Room is more a record of our shared experiences — the stuff we have looked at together or read at the same time, or movies we've seen.
You're still committed to the two-person lineup in concert, with the occasional guest joining you onstage. Are you seeing a limit to what looping can do, or is it that you can write a more orchestrated song and find a way out of the studio to make it work?
Brubeck: I feel the limitations of loops all the time. I think that's one of the more interesting things onstage — I always like seeing how other two-person bands do it. So I like doing it onstage because the limitations help show everything that's going on, but in the studio I hate trying to keep true to a loop-based thing. Because in the studio you can do whatever you want.
Sult: I feel like we are a six-piece with four arms, four legs and two heads. Like, Paige has guitar parts in her heads, keys in her heads, harmonies, second harmonies, third harmonies, bass, and it's all there. It all seems like it shows up simultaneously. She has kind of a crowded brain. And then I sometimes have harmonies and am helping out with those things. But the tension of the band, and the thing I think is exciting about the band live, is that there are more ideas than limbs. So how do we create a thing that comes across with power — that feels like there are more people onstage than there are?
"Hold Yr Ground," to me, is the one of the songs that will get the most attention from the record. It takes a pretty clear-eyed look at urban St. Louis' issues while still serving as something of an anthem.
Brubeck: "To whoever stole the Dodge Caravan" — this is a true song, all of it is true. We use our neighborhood as an inspiration. Our van got stolen, and I was really pissed and got really bummed out. It was kind of like talking out loud about that. The police officer that filled out the report with us said that a lot of kids steal these cars, and it's apparently a very common thing. I just think that some of these kids are getting off to a bad start.
It's a really complex feelin - Riverfront Times/Voice Media


"Homespun: Seven-inch Singles from Sleepy Kitty and Kentucky Knife Fight"

Seven-inch singles are still the best way to get to know a band. If you can't kick out the jams in under four minutes per side, perhaps the rocking life just isn't for you. The end of the summer brought a few new 45s from two venerable local acts, both building off of and refining what came before.

Sleepy Kitty's "Don't You Start" (nerd alert: white vinyl) is the first dispatch of the duo's sessions at Jason McEntire's Sawhorse Studio, which will be contained on a forthcoming release. The song is a little less of a sound-collage than some of the tracks on Infinity City, built around Paige Brubeck's chugging guitar and multi-tracked vocals, though it's nice to hear Evan Sult's harmonies pushed up in the mix. "Don't You Start" is a reminder of what the band does well at its best — a gradual acceleration of energy and emotion that is mirrored by the tastefully noisy layering of fuzz and fury. Even if "Don't You Start" finds its way to the next Sleepy Kitty LP, you'll still want to grab the 45 for the B-side, a home recording of the 1934 pop number "All I Do Is Dream of You." Points to Brubeck and Sult for digging deep in the Great American Songbook for this almost-standard, which was recorded with the requisite sweetness and a pop-punk urgency that cuts right through on the demo recording. For a band that has wrangled Gershwin's "Summertime" and Lennon/McCartney's "I Saw Her Standing There," the pop songbook remains a bottomless wellspring for Sleepy Kitty.

St. Louis-via-Edwardsville quintet Kentucky Knife Fight released its initial vinyl offering this summer as well (nerd alert: green marble vinyl) after recording with David Beeman and Kit Hamon at Native Sound Studio. "Misshapen Love" takes the A-side with a burst of bright Memphis horns and a rumbling rhythm section. Singer Jason Holler sounds enlivened by the brass and guitarists Curtis Brewer and Nate Jones working in some hot licks in between. "Love the Lonely" reverts back to the band's signature noir-blues brand of rock & roll, but the best bits come in the whispered verses, where slinky guitars and Nathan Jatcko's keys can breathe before a basher chorus. (And it's worth tracking down the song's Taxicab Confessions-inspired video, shot by First Punch Film Productions, in which Holler carts around a coterie of night-owl lowlifes and a few recognizable scenesters.) - Riverfront Times / Village Voice Media


"Sleepy Kitty to Play NYC's Pianos, 6/29"

Golightly Media have announced that, St. Louis favorites, Sleepy Kitty will be bringing their unique brand of scuzzed-out, throw-back rock to New York City, this coming Saturday, June 29th at Pianos.

Since the release of their 2011 album Infinity City (Euclid Records), the gorgeous duo has garnered much attention from the media as Paste Magazine claims that "the duo plays up the '90s rock while still keeping it fresh" and has them on their list of "10 Missouri Bands You Should Listen to Now".

Having toured with the likes of Neon Trees, Dresden Dolls, Deerhoof, and Chuck Berry in their current hometown of St. Louis, this dynamic duo has garnered much attention in the media and has obtained musical accolades such as the River Front Times Award for Best Indie Band of 2013. Building on the band's successful momentum, Sleepy Kitty has released the first single, "Don't You Start" off their new album, Projection Room which is due out on August 27th with a slew of nationwide tour dates scheduled for this summer.

Sleepy Kitty began as an experimental sound project for a class when frontwoman Paige Brubeck was enrolled as an undergraduate at School of The Art Institute Chicago in 2007. Brubeck and Evan Sult (ex-Harvey Danger) began layering field recordings of the "L" and Wicker Park street poets with '60s style harmonies and crashing drums. Sult was playing drums in the math-rock indie-pop band Bound Stems at the time, and Brubeck was playing guitar in the girl group trio Stiletto Attack, but as the two bonded over Pavement and The Fall, they began writing their own post-punk, show-tune inflected songs and Sleepy Kitty went from side project to full on band.

TOUR DATES:

June 29 NEW YORK, NY @ Pianos | 158 Ludlow
w/ Thing One, Big Girl, Twin Wave, and Heidi Harris

July 1 PITTSBURGH, PA @ Garfield Artworks | 4931 Penn Ave
w/ Sun Ray, Shining Light and Netizen

July 2 CHICAGO, IL @ Empty Bottle | Western & Cortez
w/ SAUNA and Lazy

July 19 INDIANAPOLIS, IN @ The White Rabbit | 1116 E. Prospect St.
w/ Huntronik, and K

*more tour dates to be confirmed.

Read more about Sleepy Kitty to Play NYC's Pianos, 6/29 by broadwayworld.com - BroadwayWorld.com


"10 Missouri Bands You Should Listen To Now"

Sleepy Kitty is what Sheryl Crow—a University of Missouri alum—should have been. This male/female duo plays up the ’90s rock while still keeping it fresh. “Speaking Politely” has just enough cute from lead singer Paige Brubeck combined with distorted rock and a heavy drum beat to make a spectacularly catchy song. - Paste


"10 Missouri Bands You Should Listen To Now"

Sleepy Kitty is what Sheryl Crow—a University of Missouri alum—should have been. This male/female duo plays up the ’90s rock while still keeping it fresh. “Speaking Politely” has just enough cute from lead singer Paige Brubeck combined with distorted rock and a heavy drum beat to make a spectacularly catchy song. - Paste


"Last Collector Standing: Sleepy Kitty's Paige Brubeck and Evan Sult on Art, Vinyl and Budgie"

Sleepy Kitty is never short of crazy endeavors. Guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Paige Brubeck and drummer Evan Sult's next gig is following the sold-out Flaming Lips show at the Halo Bar tomorrow night. In celebration of the Lips gig, the pair has also come up with a clever plan of playing the Zaireeka experiment through their art studio loft and home to the entire 2700 block of Cherokee Street, just a few hours before doors open at the Pageant.

Between performing as Sleepy Kitty and designing screen prints during the day, both Brubeck and Sult also find time to collect records. They can even occasionally be seen DJing at the Royale's vinyl spins. We met at Sleepy Kitty Studios to talk about what attracts them to vinyl and ended up waxing philosophical about Budgie's If I Were Britannia I'd Waive The Rules.

Last Collector Standing: As artists who make a living off of screen printing and graphic design, is it upsetting to see the decline of the album format?

Paige Brubeck: Definitely. One of my favorite parts about records is that the art is bigger. When I started doing work for my own bands I really liked that, because it was a way of combining all the things I loved about painting and all kinds of visual arts with the other thing I love making music. Getting a vinyl record is like twelve inches of art, and it's double sided.

Evan Sult: I honestly experience it as more of a resurgence than a decline, because by the time I was making art that related to music, records were already not a [format] that I was buying. It's since become something that I buy. Once I held up a CD I owned next to a record that a friend owned of the same thing [and] I really, keenly felt a loss. In the last five years, I am more likely to see a vinyl version of an album I would want to buy than I was ten years ago.

The [designers] that I really liked in Seattle, like Art Chantry who designed for Estrus Records, [made covers] that always looked great on vinyl. Even a seven-inch is two and a half inches larger than a CD. Pavement's Westing cover is a perfect example of something that is so gorgeous on vinyl and is lost on a four-and-three quarters format.

What was the first album you ever bought?
Sult: I think the very first vinyl album I bought was Pyromania by Def Leppard, probably because the artwork looked so cool to my young '80s brain. Now it looks cool, but in a completely layered way. A layer of silliness, a layer of reference, a layer of times passed. I went to a record store called Dusty Trails in Corvallis, Oregon with some friends when I was a freshman in high school. They went right for the '70s stuff. I remember someone left with Jimi Hendrix, Are You Experienced? . [My friends] had these record collecting parents who were still active collectors, and they had this collector's mindset about things. I just wandered through the record store lost but excited.

We had a bunch of records at my home, but I had never connected myself to buying them. I bought cassettes. Pyromania was my first album. Playing it on my dad's record player was completely different than playing it on my cassette player in my room. In the life I had, record players weren't personal units they were family units. I think I blushed the first time I played it [Brubeck laughs] just because it was inappropriate for a family room. That's a stand-in-your-room and air guitar and hairbrush-singing album.

Brubeck: The first album that I consciously remember that started my CD and album buying was Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette. There were other things before that, but it ended up being whatever soundtrack was marketed to me. The first time I was like, "I like this music" was with Jagged Little Pill. I'm a little embarrassed about it, but that's the first record I ever learned to sing harmony to. I started getting into vinyl by discovering my parents collection and discovering the Cars record, I don't even know what the name of it is. It had the girl on the cover with the steering wheel [Editors note - Cars' self-titled debut]. I remember buying Dance Hall Crashers and being really excited I had that on vinyl.

Why is it exciting to have something on vinyl?
It feels way more intentional [to listen to vinyl]. I love how you can hear a record with the stereo turned down. You can hear the hiss.

Sult: You can make out the song...

Brubeck: ...From this tiny sound coming off of your record player. I really like that it's actually sound being put into the world instead of a digital representation of sound. It feels more like a tube amp than a solid-state amp.

Sult: When we do screen-printing, we deal with the beauty of the fundamentally reproduced item. There is no original screen-print. There are only multiples. We think about multiples a lot and the value of those things. When CDs came along they where burnable. MP3 really are indistinguishable [between] what somebody makes in there practice space and what somebody makes o - A to Z


"Last Collector Standing: Sleepy Kitty's Paige Brubeck and Evan Sult on Art, Vinyl and Budgie"

Sleepy Kitty is never short of crazy endeavors. Guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Paige Brubeck and drummer Evan Sult's next gig is following the sold-out Flaming Lips show at the Halo Bar tomorrow night. In celebration of the Lips gig, the pair has also come up with a clever plan of playing the Zaireeka experiment through their art studio loft and home to the entire 2700 block of Cherokee Street, just a few hours before doors open at the Pageant.

Between performing as Sleepy Kitty and designing screen prints during the day, both Brubeck and Sult also find time to collect records. They can even occasionally be seen DJing at the Royale's vinyl spins. We met at Sleepy Kitty Studios to talk about what attracts them to vinyl and ended up waxing philosophical about Budgie's If I Were Britannia I'd Waive The Rules.

Last Collector Standing: As artists who make a living off of screen printing and graphic design, is it upsetting to see the decline of the album format?

Paige Brubeck: Definitely. One of my favorite parts about records is that the art is bigger. When I started doing work for my own bands I really liked that, because it was a way of combining all the things I loved about painting and all kinds of visual arts with the other thing I love making music. Getting a vinyl record is like twelve inches of art, and it's double sided.

Evan Sult: I honestly experience it as more of a resurgence than a decline, because by the time I was making art that related to music, records were already not a [format] that I was buying. It's since become something that I buy. Once I held up a CD I owned next to a record that a friend owned of the same thing [and] I really, keenly felt a loss. In the last five years, I am more likely to see a vinyl version of an album I would want to buy than I was ten years ago.

The [designers] that I really liked in Seattle, like Art Chantry who designed for Estrus Records, [made covers] that always looked great on vinyl. Even a seven-inch is two and a half inches larger than a CD. Pavement's Westing cover is a perfect example of something that is so gorgeous on vinyl and is lost on a four-and-three quarters format.

What was the first album you ever bought?
Sult: I think the very first vinyl album I bought was Pyromania by Def Leppard, probably because the artwork looked so cool to my young '80s brain. Now it looks cool, but in a completely layered way. A layer of silliness, a layer of reference, a layer of times passed. I went to a record store called Dusty Trails in Corvallis, Oregon with some friends when I was a freshman in high school. They went right for the '70s stuff. I remember someone left with Jimi Hendrix, Are You Experienced? . [My friends] had these record collecting parents who were still active collectors, and they had this collector's mindset about things. I just wandered through the record store lost but excited.

We had a bunch of records at my home, but I had never connected myself to buying them. I bought cassettes. Pyromania was my first album. Playing it on my dad's record player was completely different than playing it on my cassette player in my room. In the life I had, record players weren't personal units they were family units. I think I blushed the first time I played it [Brubeck laughs] just because it was inappropriate for a family room. That's a stand-in-your-room and air guitar and hairbrush-singing album.

Brubeck: The first album that I consciously remember that started my CD and album buying was Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette. There were other things before that, but it ended up being whatever soundtrack was marketed to me. The first time I was like, "I like this music" was with Jagged Little Pill. I'm a little embarrassed about it, but that's the first record I ever learned to sing harmony to. I started getting into vinyl by discovering my parents collection and discovering the Cars record, I don't even know what the name of it is. It had the girl on the cover with the steering wheel [Editors note - Cars' self-titled debut]. I remember buying Dance Hall Crashers and being really excited I had that on vinyl.

Why is it exciting to have something on vinyl?
It feels way more intentional [to listen to vinyl]. I love how you can hear a record with the stereo turned down. You can hear the hiss.

Sult: You can make out the song...

Brubeck: ...From this tiny sound coming off of your record player. I really like that it's actually sound being put into the world instead of a digital representation of sound. It feels more like a tube amp than a solid-state amp.

Sult: When we do screen-printing, we deal with the beauty of the fundamentally reproduced item. There is no original screen-print. There are only multiples. We think about multiples a lot and the value of those things. When CDs came along they where burnable. MP3 really are indistinguishable [between] what somebody makes in there practice space and what somebody makes o - A to Z


"RFT Music Award Winners 2010"

Best New Artist
Sleepy Kitty
“Sleepy Kitty throws itself completely into its projects — whether it’s writing and performing gorgeous, experimental pop songs, crafting imaginative, screen-printed show flyers or being the newest and brightest addition to Cherokee Street’s thriving arts scene.” — Chrissy Wilmes - A to Z


"Best New Band 2010"

You might have seen Sleepy Kitty before you heard them: The Cherokee Street duo's Technicolor concert posters have spread across town like the flu, and principal members Paige Brubeck and Evan Sult are an inseparable fixture at local events and shows. The pair's music, however, is just as striking. Brubeck's time-warp vocals can be unadulterated (think Cat Power on Broadway or Regina Spektor sans affectation) or distorted, as they float above vaguely distressed piano, askew guitar chords and other found sounds. Like a lullaby appetizer for a nightmare-laden main course — or the entertainment at a block party in Edward Scissorhands' neighborhood — Sleepy Kitty explores beauty's unsettling underbelly. If you missed Brubeck and Sult covering askew indie-wranglers Pavement at An Under Cover Weekend, don't fret. They'll be opening for cabaret-pop darlings the Dresden Dolls at the Pageant in November. - Riverfront Times


"The Art of Noise: Sleepy Kitty brightens up Cherokee Street"

On the evening of November 4, 2008, the world's eyes were on Chicago. The city's political star, Barack Obama, had just been elected president of the United States, and tens of thousands of supporters had gathered in the city's Grant Park to celebrate the historic occasion. Anyone with a Democratic voting record or a sense of history had a twinge of regret for not being among the throng. At that same moment, however, musicians Paige Brubeck and Evan Sult were on their way out of the Windy City and headed for a cavernous loft on Cherokee Street.

Since arriving in south St. Louis, the pair has left a brightly colored mark on the city's art and music communities. Under the banner Sleepy Kitty, Brubeck and Sult operate a screen-printing business, creating eye-catching posters for bands and venues around town. They also use Sleepy Kitty as a band name, and together Brubeck (lead vocals, piano, guitar) and Sult (drums, vocals) write effervescent rock songs that touch on layered girl-group harmonies, sound collages, noir country and power pop.

Sleepy Kitty recently released its debut EP, What I Learned This Summer, which features two songs and three snippets, sketches and roots of other tunes. The disc is less than nine minutes long, but it offers a tantalizing, varied view of the band's abilities. Brubeck refers to Sleepy Kitty's music as "choir nerd discovers Sonic Youth," an apt description given the attention paid to classical harmony as well as dizzying, experimental noise-rock.

For Brubeck, the move to St. Louis was a sort of homecoming. She grew up in Millstadt, Illinois (population 2,794), and attended Belleville West High School. She also has roots in the city's music scene from her younger days and played all-ages shows at the usual haunts. "I was in ska bands in my junior high days — one was the Radioactive Bananas," she says with a laugh and only a slight touch of embarrassment. "I was in this punk band called the Have Nots that played at the old Creepy Crawl." While in Chicago to attend art school, she played guitar and sang in both Stiletto Attack and sang in a '60s girl-group cover band called the Deccas.

Sult's pedigree is a little more high profile. The Bellingham, Washington, native found national acclaim when his very first band, Harvey Danger, caught fire on the strength of the 1998 single "Flagpole Sitta." Saddled with a one-hit wonder tag (and burned by a ham-fisted major label), Harvey Danger went on hiatus, and Sult departed Seattle in 2001. (Harvey Danger later toured and recorded sporadically in the last decade but split for good last year. Sleepy Kitty opened its final shows in Chicago and Seattle last year, although Sult did not perform with his old band.) After moving to Chicago, Sult was a founding member of the acclaimed quintet Bound Stems, a group that married math rock's shifting tempos with a fuzzy, harmony-laden sense of pop. That band called it quits in 2008 after releasing four EPs and two full-lengths.

But the pair's musical background is only part of Sleepy Kitty's brand. Sult and Brubeck had been dating when Brubeck began conceptualizing her final project in pursuit of her BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. The project, titled "Chicaghosts," married audio interviews and original compositions with photography and animation.

"It really works well that the first Sleepy Kitty stuff was graphic and audio," Sult says. "As we started thinking about it as a musical project, we also started screen-printing and stamping [the projects] Sleepy Kitty for fun. We just started working together. It became a fact that any work one of us did, the other one helped complete."

This type of "you wash/I'll dry" mentality shoots through nearly every facet of their professional and private lives. Forgoing a traditional marriage because of certain ideological concerns, the duo wrote their own contract and, instead of a wedding, held a "welding" at the City Museum. Sult says that their status is more in line with the domestic partnerships held by many gay couples and that despite that lack of tax breaks, the arrangement is perfectly suited for a lifestyle where artistic, musical and personal concerns constantly overlap.

Visiting the Sleepy Kitty loft on Cherokee Street illustrates this point. Aside from a few makeshift walls and barriers, the open space is a self-contained testament to the creative process. In the center, wire racks and broad tables hold still-drying concert posters; recent designs seems to favor bright pinks, blues and greens, a palette both psychedelic and playful. An alcove houses Sult's drums, Brubeck's guitar and enough keyboards to make Rick Wakeman proud. The space itself brought Sleepy Kitty to St. Louis; the possibility of working in a New York-style loft at St. Louis prices was too good to pass up. But according to Sult, the blank canvas of the loft required the couple to commit to the Sleepy Kitty enterprise full-time.

"We got to St. Louis, a - Riverfront Times (April 2010)


"Hello, Kitty!"

They met at a party in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood in 2004. Evan Sult was sitting in a chair, tapping his knees to a perpetual tune, when he heard a voice: “Yeah, I just bought this pack of cigarettes, but I should really stop before I start.”

Without thinking, he said, “You know, you’re right—you should stop smoking.”

He turned around to see a striking blond who’d just played a show earlier that night. She introduced herself as Paige Brubeck.

“I was looking at this woman I never would’ve talked to otherwise because I thought she’s too pretty,” he recalls.

The two hit it off right away—he was a drummer, she a guitarist. She’d grown up near Belleville, Ill., attended the Art Institute of Chicago, and was between bands. He was a Washington state native who’d left Seattle in 2001 and formed a quintet known as Bound Stems. As the two talked about music and art, Sult would occasionally refer to the past and “my band.” Eventually, it emerged that he was part of Harvey Danger, the group that gained national acclaim in 1998 with the hit “Flagpole Sitta,” but had since gone on hiatus. (“It’s weirdly challenging to have a notable band in the background, because when you’re talking to other people it inevitably turns into a reveal, whether or not I intend it to be,” says Sult, who once viewed fame as “kind of an idiot thing.”) Sult and Brubeck spent the rest of the night talking, strolling side by side from the party to a diner to a beach.

She didn’t smoke another cigarette the entire night.

Four years later, the pair visited a vacant loft along Cherokee Street. With the dream of opening their own business, they pondered whether to move all they cherished—their art, instruments, pets—to a raw but affordable space in south St. Louis and leave behind their industry connections in Chicago. “It was just a time where you realize that if I’m serious about all these things, about art and music, they have to be more important than how comfortable it is to be in this city, or any city,” says Sult. They made the leap, without knowing the neighborhood was a burgeoning creative scene with the likes of Apop Records and Firecracker Press.

Music and art were as inseparable for the pair as they were from each other, so they called their band—and their screen-printing shop—Sleepy Kitty. (For the record, they own a feline called Yul Brynner, named for the Russian actor, that doubles as their mascot.) The music, which Brubeck has described as “choir nerd discovers Sonic Youth,” marks a departure from their previous bands. “We’re kind of helplessly in love with pop music, but we also can’t help but destroy it a little bit,” says Sult. The duo—who passed on a traditional wedding in favor of a “welding” ceremony at City Museum—have already released an EP titled What I Learned This Summer and plan to perform at Halo Bar following The Flaming Lips’ concert at The Pageant on September 17. And the screen-printing biz is picking up steam, turning out plenty of eye-popping concert posters.

Somehow, the arrangement seems…natural. “With Evan and I, it would be harder to not play music together, because we have so much in common,” says Brubeck. “I feel like I would be resisting the signals that the universe is giving me.”

- St. Louis Magazine (September 2010)


"Sleepy Kitty"

"Sleepy Kitty is one to watch out for!" - Eleven Magazine


"Sleepy Kitty"

"Sleepy Kitty is one to watch out for!" - Eleven Magazine


Discography

- (EP) What I Learned This Summer 2009

- Infinity City (Album, Euclid Records) July 2011

- Don't You Start (7", Euclid Records) August 2012

- Projection Room (Album, Euclid Records) August 2013

Photos

Bio

“Grimy meets shiny in Sleepy Kitty’s music: chugging drums and crunchy guitars sweetened by catchy melodies and vocal harmonies that summon memories of 1960s-era girl groups.” (Boston Globe) So arrived Sleepy Kitty with their sophomore release, Projection Room, on Euclid Records. Taking cues from an eccentric rage of influences from Pavement to technicolor MGM musicals, and Iggy Pop to Jean Luc Godard, Sleepy Kitty are equal parts art-school weird and erratic garage-punk – like the White Stripes if they listened to a little more 1940s music. 

Comprised of Paige Brubeck and Evan Sult (ex. Harvey Danger, Bound Stems), the St. Louis based duo released Projection Room in January of 2014. It’s a gorgeous art-punk achievement by the band, with flagrant nods to their favorite pop culture influences, art-school references, and flaming guitar solos. Built with a melodic foundation and bursting with stacked '60s harmonies, it's catchy as hell. 

The album was received with critical acclaim, garnering attention from BUST Magazine, KEXP, Nylon and NPR, not to mention buzz from well-respected outlets in the blogosphere including Brooklyn Vegan, Brightest Young Things and many more. Entertainment Weekly named Sleepy Kitty one of the 20 acts to see at SXSW 2014 (just behind Temples, Angel Olsen, and Perfect Pussy). The St. Louis duo have well and truly captured the hearts of their newfound hometown, winning Riverfront Times' Best New Band in 2010, and Best Indie Band in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

For a project that originally began as an outlet for the duo to do "weirdo stuff that [their] own bands weren't interested in doing," as Sult says, Sleepy Kitty has quickly become a full-fledged enterprise. The duo began to take shape at the end of 2008, when Evan Sult, who was drumming for Chicago's Bound Stems after an eight-year stint in late-'90s alt-radio band Harvey Danger, met Paige Brubeck at a party. She was studying at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and playing in the all-girl band Stiletto Attack. 

Now, based out of their self-described "art castle," a studio space in the middle of Cherokee Street in St. Louis, MO, Sleepy Kitty is a multimedia project: the two also collaborate professionally on rock posters, album artwork, and fine art together. It's this space that has birthed two Sleepy Kitty EP releases: debut LP Infinity City (2011), and sophomore release Projection Room (2014), and is home to a blossoming art and graphics project under the same name. 

Perhaps in the truest testament to their weird and wonderful influences, the band have played alongside an eclectic array of artists including Chuck Berry, Best Coast, Brody Dalle, JEFF The Brotherhood, Deerhoof, Dresden Dolls, and Allah-Las, as well as LouFest and Middle Of The Map Fest for the last three years. And in true Sleepy Kitty fashion, the duo kicked off their album release with “Laser Kitty”:  two sold-out laser shows at the St. Louis Planetarium, choreographed to Projection Room.  

Much like the glittering narrative and bright imagery that Projection Room paints, Sleepy Kitty create an ethereal world all their own – and it’s a world that we wanna live in.

Band Members