The Sleepwalkers
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The Sleepwalkers

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Jul
20
The Sleepwalkers @ Fox River House

Appleton, Wisconsin, USA

Appleton, Wisconsin, USA

Jul
06
The Sleepwalkers @ Glass Nickel Pizza Company

Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA

Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA

Jun
21
The Sleepwalkers @ The Five Spot

Nashville, None, USA

Nashville, None, USA

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Ian Olvera does not force your attention; rather, he asks for it nicely. His band, however, takes a different approach - they prefer to turn up the volume. A three-piece rock and roll outfit based out of Oshkosh, Ian Olvera and The Sleepwalkers are rock at it’s roots: brash, tuneful, and fiery. With clear nods to a variety of influences like The Replacements, The Band, and soul great Sam Cooke, The Sleepwalkers’ music manages to meld those ear-catching influences with Olvera’s own particular brand of spotlight-stealing songwriting.

In person, Ian is wry and self-effacing; he’s not one for bragging. Throughout our conversation, he joked, most often making himself the punch line, but was earnest when it came to what is clearly a passion for him: his music. Writing music since age ten, Olvera’s connection to music is strong. In fact, it permeates his entire life. He’s currently attending UW Oshkosh pursuing a music degree. Playing shows actively since high school, Olvera’s live performances have taken a variety of forms with a host of supporting players. A veteran of

everything from acoustic open mic shows to club shows in cities around the country, as of 2010, he’s settled down, so to speak, with bassist Connor Lamue and drummer Ryan Gracyalny. When asked about the line up, Olvera offers this: “It feels like a band – it was one before, but now it’s one unit”. This solidified lineup has not been without it’s obvious perks; it has allowed the band to grow together creatively, a bonus that is sure to show up all over The Sleepwalkers as-yet untitled forthcoming record, due out in late Spring.


Not only has the lineup become solid, but the permanency has allowed The Sleepwalkers to try new things – Bassist Lamue wrote a song for the new album. Already an accomplished songwriter in his own right in his and Gracyalny’s other band, The Midwestern Charm, Lamue’s songwriting is a welcome addition to The Sleepwalkers. Olvera wanted Lamue to write something for a while, saying, “It’s good to have someone else throwing something in.” Lamue’s song offers a window into the band’s steadiness, and brings a shows off another facet of the band’s skillful rock sound.

Showing off is something The Sleepwalkers are just about ready for. With a new album on the way, there’s a lot to be proud of. Showcasing mostly songs written within the last year, the forthcoming album got its start in November of 2011 at Milwaukee’s Howl Street Studios. From there, they moved to the Mystery Room, where The Sleepwalkers were, in fact, the last band to track there before it closed. Taking several days, they laid down the bones of their new record. Olvera calls it “a bit of a continuation, [of 2009’s “The Reckless Kind”] but more cohesive.” These songs have the comfortable feel of having grown up together, and at least half of the upcoming album is already part of The Sleepwalker’s live show.

In fact, if you’ve seen them recently, there’s a good chance you heard the new songs. Playing live is an integral part of The Sleepwalkers process; drummer Gracyalny lives in Milwaukee, making band practice a precious commodity. Shows allow the band to solidify and structure their work, and, most importantly, test it on an audience. Olvera is careful in how he structures setlists, aware that a three piece band does have some limitations. “Any song that’s not fast, loud, and rocking feels really empty as a three piece” he says, but their live show does not disappoint: on any given night, it’s all three of those things. It’s a put down your cell phone kind of sound, demanding that you keep up with their tempo. Olvera has his audience in mind – “If you’re there to see the show and you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss something.”

The Sleepwalkers are something not to be missed, and it seems like everyone is starting to catch on. Not only are they releasing a new album in the coming months, they’re also releasing “The Reckless Kind” on vinyl, which is especially exciting for Olvera. “It’s the first time something that is entirely my songs will be on vinyl,” he says.

The future is bright for Ian Olvera and the Sleepwalkers. If you’d like to see the light for yourself, you can check them out online at www.facbeook.com/ianolveraandthesleepwalkers where you’ll find links to their music and info on upcoming shows. - Oshkosh.scenenewspaper.com


...Finally, The Sleepwalkers began setting up for the evenings final set. Every member (especially frontman Ian Olvera) was dressed for the occasion and more dapper than I’ve ever seen. Then the whole drunken Replacements thing I mentioned before hit its peak when the band kicked in to the first song. I’ve seen The Sleepwalkers more times than I can count on fingers and toes but I’ve never heard them sound as good as they did during this show. Their whole old-fashioned rock ‘n roll (think 90's alt-meets-Elvis Costello) got played to its greatest strengths. In addition to that, I don’t think I’ve seen them look like they were having that much fun when playing. Throughout the set, the songs were ramshackle instead of refined and Ian in particular seemed like he was pouring a lot of energy into it. There were memorable moments littered throughout, like Arielle Smith joining the band for an excellent rendition of one of their debut album, The Reckless Kind’s many standouts ”Laundry & Cigarettes,” or a punched-up version of “Derailed,” which incited one of a surprising number of drunken sing-a-long moments. Let me repeat this, to be clear, rock ‘n roll is not dead.... - Playgroundmisnomer.com


Wisconsin needs a band like Ian Olvera and the Sleepwalkers. Acoustic singer-songwriters, self-serious alt-country bands that aren’t as good as the Championship -- thanks, but no, we’re at capacity. I hear Michigan is lovely this time of year.

We don’t get a lot of hooky power-pop in these parts, and that’s where Olvera comes in. Here’s a guy who knows how to package his disappointments and discouragements in big, catchy Fountains of Wayne-sy melodies, a boot-stomp or two of honkey tonk, even an unabashed power ballad.

The most recent reshuffling of Olvera’s band played at Mad Planet on Saturday, a line-up featuring Connor Lamue on bass and … well, according to Olvera’s Facebook, “um...er...uh..yeah” is on drums. Myspace says it’s Nikolas Davidson. But … wasn’t that Sahan Jaysuriya banging away back there? Didn’t he once hold a limited edition pressing of Deerhunter’s “Microcastle” for me at Atomic Records? As the Facebook and Myspace confusion suggests, these guys aren’t entirely relaxed together yet, but some goofy joy shone on the music’s unassailable polish too: during “Derailed,” a cut from Olvera’s 2007 debut EP “Some of Us Dream,” Jaysuriya took his sticks to the air, the stage, and his lead singer, while Lamue sandwiched his bass against a speaker and rode the feedback.

Band hi-jinx aside, the star of the set was “The Reckless Kind,” a full-length summer 2K10 release that goes ten for ten on catchy tunes and smart songwriting. My favorite track, the gate-crashing comedy “Sophie Lives Here,” didn’t make the cut this night, which is a credit to how many really great songs Olvera has at his disposal -- songs like “I Won’t Let You Down,” in which an ex-lover wishes Olvera the worst and he spits her digs back as spiteful promises .. because, you see, he’s the reliable one! The hint of a whine in Olvera’s voice can get downright punky on a kiss-off like “Don’t Wanna Talk About It,” or lonely and exasperated on the break-up anthem “Laundry and Cigarettes.” Olvera has the talent, the songs, and -- finally? maybe? -- the band. All his live songbook needs is a little more singer-drumming and feedback-riding. It’ll come. - rocksposure.com


The band’s name may imply that its members are somnambulists, but Green Bay/Milwaukee/Oshkosh trio Ian Olvera & The Sleepwalkers sound wide-awake on their full-length debut. The Reckless Kind finds a comfortable space between cheerful power-pop, ’70s Southern California singer-songwriter confessions and hearty country rock. Depending on the subject matter and tempo, Olvera uses his nasally voice to complement or contrast his melodies and arrangements.

The band doesn’t give the impression that it is approaching its influences from a point of alt/indie irony. If the lyrics are a bit vague in a BoDeans-ish way, the Sleepwalkers sell their songs with at least as much gusto as those Waukesha wonders. Earnest and fetching, Olvera and his mates sound like they're investing sweat equity for the long haul. - Shepherds Express Milwaukee


After regaling us with his 2007 debut EP Some of Us Dream, Green Bay's Ian Olvera is back with his debut full-length The Reckless Kind, accompanied by his backing band The Sleepwalkers. The Reckless Kind builds on the promise of the EP with its polished Americana-influenced pop that splits the difference between The Jayhawks and Tom Petty.

The stomping "Darkest Weather" opens the album and it has that feeling you get driving the open roads of the Midwest, and it's followed by the poptastic "Sophie Lives Here", a rollicking hook factory. "Don't Want to Talk About It" has a Exile-era Stones/Petty feel to it, a la Wilco's "Monday", and speaking of that Chicago band, "Is This It" also recalls their early heyday with its pedal steel-fueled rock. But the real standout here is the languid "Laundry & Cigarettes", an anthemic ballad that could be a hit in an alternate universe.

Elsewhere, the Wallflowers-esque "Ain't Nobody as Lonely as You" and the lovely, spare "In the Morning" close out the album in fine fashion. The Reckless Kind is a worthy addition to your playlist, and it's always great to see an artist grown from EP to LP. - Absolutepowerpop.blogspot.com


(rough english translation)

Face it. We are living through one of the best seasons in terms of musical creativity is concerned. Paradoxically, in this world so troubled and suicidal that we live, folk music alive one of his best moments.
Young people and young veterans are, for the most powerful monster outside the record, are, say, creating songs, styles or reinventing everything that was dying to be in the hands of musicians unable or run by greedy executives to neoliberal mentality who give a shit or musicians, or music.
One such artist is making marginal territory and defining a path that I expect and hope many more take, is Ian Olvera. A boy born in Fox River, Wisconsin, and you can almost say that these conflicts are new in music, except for an EP released in 2007 that bore the title: "Some Of Us Dream".
In 2010, he released "The Reckless Kind" and is clothed by a magnificent band dubbed The Sleepwalkers who hold ten great songs that are dressed in Power Pop, the sound of Southern California in the 70's and a Country Rock powerful tone that makes Olvera and his Sleepwalkers are unclassifiable by Stevie Ray Vaughan (just do not believe in god) and can be, say, inclasificar in that group of great artists like Phil Ayoub, Mike Dunn, Memphis 59 or those Replacements great.
The Fox River however, is a seasoned musician as concerts are concerned. Having already opened shows for Paul Collins, The Redwalls, Cory Chisel and many more.
Can such acts be the run of a musical revolution to take down the nefarious and outdated music industry? Hopefully ... time will tell. - Necesito Un Rock And Roll (Spanish Blog)


The Packers may be Green Bay, Wisconsin's best-known talent, but a group of three young local men known collectively as Ian Olvera & The Sleepwalkers are starting to cause ripples in, and outside of, the city's music scene.

Led by singer, songwriter & guitarist Ian Olvera, and joined by drummer Nik Davidson and bassist Connor Lamue, the trio turns in a hard-hitting debut on their self-released full-length, The Reckless Kind. Mixing the chiming guitars, sweet melodies and punchy hooks of late '70s power-pop with the twang and sway of mid '90s alt-country, the threesome have managed to make these two strange bedfellows work very well together - not unlike Petty or Springsteen in their respective youths.

Much of the album's strength lies in Olvera's adept songwriting skills, as witnessed on the indelible opening track "Darkest Weather," the glam-rock-infused power pop of "Don't Wanna Talk About It" and the more straight-ahead rock of "I Won't Let You Down." But the young musician also proves himself on the country-battered track "Is This It" and the gentle balladry of "In The Morning" and "Laundry & Cigarettes" that hearkens back to the West Coast singer-songwriter style of the '70s.

It should also be noted that as good as this first effort is, I recently caught this trio's live performance and they were on fire - eschewing some of their rootsier-stride in favor of extremely taut and dynamic pop songs delivered with a youthful, wide-eyed enthusiasm (and considering that they've opened for the likes of power-pop legend Paul Collins Beat, The Redwalls, The Obsoletes and Eau Claire's own The Daredevil Christopher Wright, it's little wonder they've got the chops to win over their audiences every performance). Pick up this record and, more importantly, catch these guys next time they're playing in the area - it's a live show that doesn't disappoint, and, despite the band's moniker, I guarantee you won't see anyone sleepwalking through it. - Concertlivewire.com


This album is great but I should mention that I have seen Ian Olvera and the Sleepwalkers play live in Green Bay a handful of times in the past couple of years and they were always a solid show. They always put on a good performance with solid rocking songs, but at each show they always seemed to be overshadowed by the other bands of the evening. Maybe it was their laid-back and mellow approach or the fact that the band members had not completely solidified, nonetheless it was always a good show. I always felt in the back of my mind that there was something to this band I just wasn't getting, something mysterious and my intuition was confirmed when I ran into Ian at the Eagles room during an unrelated show and he slipped me his new album "The Reckless Kind."

After a few good listens that night I realized the something that I had been feeling all along. Ian Olvera is sitting on a lot of extremely amazing talent. Not only is he a very accomplished singer and songwriter, he also plays guitar and keyboard / synth on most of the album. The further I researched this band, it is astonishing at what they have accomplished over the years and the dedication that went into what has become "The Reckless Kind." Before I go into the details of this album I would like to note that this is without a doubt one of the best full length records to come out of Northeast Wisconsin that I have ever heard. Ian worked with one of the most talented producers in the area, Justin Carl Perkins, and it shows with the quality of this production. I have listened to this record far more than any other record I have reviewed thus far and the main reason is, because I keep hearing new things with every listen.

When I first took a look at the album packaging it was rather inconspicuous for the music it contained. The photography art was simple with a hat being the main focus of the cover all done in black and white. The Reckless Kind is packed with a ton of energy right off the bat. The overtone of the album digs a little deeper than power pop by infusing a mid western folk country sound with dynamic rock and roll. All of the songs have great dynamics that require a tight performance. The attention to detail in layering instruments is superb. Ian puts a huge emphasis on rhythm and structure. The guitar tones are impressive and the overdrive is perfect and warm. All songs on The Reckless Kind are well placed and paced with a few brief slower release songs from what is largely an upbeat collection. Overall the album carries great song structure, bridges changes, use of rhythm variation, and break downs. Ian's vocal style is unique with a hint of raspyness but it is a deeper warmer tone, a little rough but in perfect character for this style of music. Ian's songwriting seems to focus on the fallout of relationships, while not being depressing as it is mostly reflective and universal.

With The Reckless Kind taking almost a year to write and record in three different locations with eleven musicians contributing with Ian orchestrating every little detail, the end result is brilliance. The album opens with an upbeat rocking song, "Darkest Weather," that flows with a feeling of resolution. Track two "Sophie Lives Here" is a pop upbeat song, defiantly a feel good song. Track 3 "Don't wanna talk about It" opens with an awesome guitar riff before the band joins, Ian has great expressive vocals. This song switches from a rock beat to a Motown beat with expressive rhythm on the piano and guitar. The 4th Track dials it back a bit with "Is This It," probably my favorite song on the album and one the most country influenced sounding songs on the album. I am a sucker for a pedal steel guitar. Track 5 "Wasting Time" just makes you want to go to a tavern and drink a few beers because I can identify with being accused of wasting time. This song almost has a bit of a western swing feel and is another one of the more notable songs on the record. Track 6 "Laundry & Cigarettes" marks the first real slow down on the album. The song builds incredibly from just vocals, piano, and pedal steel; it embraces a mellow, sad, and defeated mood. Track 7 "I won't let You Down" kicks it up a notch as a straight forward folk/country rock song. Track 8 "Nuclear Winter" is a bit mysterious and has an upbeat shuffle rhythm as jangly guitars scrape the background. Track 9 "Ain't Nobody As Lonely As You" is a straight forward rock and roll dynamic and upbeat with over driven guitars and expressive vocals. Track 10 is what I would call a send off track because it's somber and soulful starting off with Ian's vocals, his acoustic guitar, and keys. The song carries a feeling of discernment and sorrow that plays in your head a few minutes after it has stopped. I think that what Ian Olvera and the Sleep Walkers created and captured here is wonderful, a ton of midwestern energy, you know, the reckless kind. You can keep up to date with Ian Olvera and the Sleepwalkers by visiting their facebook page here. There you can sample some of the album "The Reckless Kind" and check out more info. You can also catch Ian Olvera and the Sleepwalkers live at HEAT in Green Bay on Wednesday, January 5th, It should be a great show. I see nothing but great things for the artist/musician Ian Olvera. His hard work and humble approach create some seriously valid midwestern rock. - Greenbaynightlife.com


Discography

TBA (Full length, 2012)

The Reckless Kind (Full length, 2010)

Photos

Bio

The Sleepwalkers are Ian, Connor, and Ryan. They do not ask for you attention, they demand it. It's brash. It's tuneful. It's fiery. Each show is an aural assault, likely to leave their audience as exhausted and sweaty as the band themselves. They provide rock at it's roots, pure and simple.

Formed in 2009, The Sleepwalkers began compiling songs and ruthlessly touring throughout the upper midwest. In Fall 2010, the band's critically acclaimed album "The Reckless Kind" was released. The record features Justin Perkins (Screeching Weasel, Cory Chisel, Tommy Stinson) on bass and Adam Cargin (Screeching Weasel, Riverdales, Blueheels) on drums. The band supported the record with a tour with Paul Collins Beat in Summer 2010.

This year finds The Sleepwalkers preparing for the release of the follow up to "The Reckless Kind." The album was tracked in Milwaukee, WI (Howl Street Studios & Mystery Room) and Oshkosh, WI (Topsoil Studios) by Shane Hochstetler, Jon Ferrer, and Ian Olvera from November 2011-May 2012. The band will be playing shows throughout the midwest during June and July, before embarking on an east coast tour in August in support of the albums release.

What started as a seemingly endless rotating cast of musicians has focused into a well oiled rock and roll trio. Rock at its roots. Brash. Fiery. Tuneful. You get the idea. See you at the show.