Walking Sleep
Gig Seeker Pro

Walking Sleep

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF

Los Angeles, California, United States | SELF
Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Walking Sleep: Take Appropriate Measures"

If only the world were a pop place.

Hunter Curra looks like a guy who’s spent long hours wrestling with that notion, and no matter how he tries to whitewash it, or what melody it’s set to, the vagaries of day-to-day life are fraught with noxious subtext. “All those sweet and saccharine songs — that’s not what the world is like,” the frontman of the Los Angeles six-piece Walking Sleep says. “I’ve never seen why you can’t have pop songs from a darker or more humanistic viewpoint.”

That’s the dichotomy explored on the band’s debut album “Measures,” self-released this week. With its vintage-sounding arrangements and plaintive boy-girl vocals, it’s subversive indie-pop that skirts its twee trappings and, for the most part, locks optimism in a dark closet with only bread and water. If Belle and Sebastian suggest you might be feeling sinister, Walking Sleep removes all doubt.

||| Download: “In a Dream” and “Final Chapter”
The road to this week’s release — the long-awaited follow-up to the 2008 EP “Escapements” — seemed equally imperiled. The band originally was known as the Flying Tourbillon Orchestra before tiring of having to explain it to everybody except horology experts and changing to Walking Sleep. And the band’s male majority (Curra, Adam Schary, Ethan Walter, Aaron Lariviere and Daniel Goldblatt) worked with several female vocalists before finding Sara Radle, a solo artist in her own right and a former member of the Rentals.

For Curra, who moved to L.A. in 2006 and started assembling the band the following year, it’s good synergy. “I never wanted to have a ‘Hunter Curra project’ — I’m no genius. I want to collaborate,” he says. “There something great about making music with your best friends.”

Most of “Measures” did come from Curra’s demos, which were inspired by “listening to a lot of classic pop, and even some bubblegum,” he says. “I loved the melodies and the orchestration but what pissed me off were the stupid lyrics. … So I try to balance all the poppiness with something that actually sounds eerie.”

Mission accomplished, on several fronts. “In a Dream” is more like a nightmare (“In a dream one night / you were choking me”), and in the jaunty, string-infused “Let It Go On,” we’re told “The river runs red.” The band’s cinematic arrangements set up the lyrical surprises, which Curra admits are products of his vivid imagination.

“I don’t see myself as being that interesting a person really. I grew up in the suburbs with middle-class parents,” he says. “But the thing that turns my collar is to see and hear about devastation. … Or maybe it’s just harder to write a love song.”

||| Live: Walking Sleep celebrate the release of “Measures” with a show Saturday night at the Bootleg Theater.
- buzzbands.la

"Live Candid Videos"


Yet another cold and dreary Sunday morning in Los Angeles, the rain coming in patches. Only a week or so later it would be in the high seventies, kids already hitting up the beach and talking about summertime, and Walking Sleep (formerly the Flying Tourbillon Orchestra) would be in a van driving through Texas on their way to the indie-hipster mecca of SXSW. It was 11am in Silver Lake and we were meeting up at the Red Lion Tavern (because it's never a bad time for some German beer-gardening). Well, actually because they were kind enough to let us take over the middle bar for the morning.

Meeting up at a bar at 11am can be a bad idea (or a great idea), and I wasn't sure whether I was getting myself into an early start to a long day of drinking. But it turned out to be more one of those slow moving, coffee drinking kind of mornings. The room was dimly lit and you could hear the slight pattering of rain on the stained glass. Hunter had brought a glockenspiel, so he and Sara were awkwardly trying to translate some guitar parts (and the results were ultimately quite wonderful). After a bit of fine tuning, they sat down around a table in the middle of the room, and played a couple songs.

This is contagious indie-pop at its best; catchy, refreshing melodies, careful harmonies, and a wistful spirit a la the New Pornographers or early Death Cab. Certain to keep you coming back for more. Their debut album "Measures" is due out in the not too distant future (May 25th), and they'll be at the Echo every Monday in April if you want to catch the full band in action. - www.little-videos.com

"Walking Sleep Measures High"

One of the appealing things about the indie music movement is that it regularly offers palatable alternatives to the mostly saccharin mediocrity of modern mainstream pop and rock. One such example is Los Angeles band Walking Sleep (formerly The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra) and their first full-length album Measures. With this album, the six-piece ensemble demonstrates that a band can deliver a quality, enjoyable pop/rock album without the glitz and autotuning of a large studio production.

Formed in 2007, the band came together as an extension of lead singer Hunter Curra’s exploratory songwriting. With the release of their Escapements EP in 2008, and subsequent recruitment of Sara Radle (The Rentals), Walking Sleep continued to gain popularity, playing live in front of increasingly larger crowds. With one of the EP’s songs (The Uniform) appearing in Grey’s Anatomy, the independent band were able to fund the production and print of Measures, and are now self-releasing it.
Measures has a lot of variety in it. Pulling from a number of sources like Motown, 1960s pop, 1990s British pop/rock, garage rock, and even a little country blues (amongst others), the album mixes and matches these genres to present ten tracks that have some commonalities, but are still quite different from each other. In a recent interview, Curra explained:

I like to think our music has a certain variety to it. I mean we want it to feel like you are listening to the same band, but it’s annoying to go through an album and it’s the same song over and over ya know? We try to mix it up rhythmically as much as we can.

Complementing the different music forms are Curra and Radler’s voices. Perfectly matched vocally to each other, the pair sing in unison or in “Lee and Nancy” style on each of the songs – an effect that is familiar yet still quite unique. Their pleasant, clear voices never strive to fight the band’s instruments, but rather go along comfortably with the flow.

Hidden beneath the upbeat veneer of the music and vocals, Curra sneaks in his penchant for dark lyrics. Somber, mysterious, and often melancholy, the lyrics are a stark contrast to the poppy melodies. Not that there’s anything Goth about them; conceptually, it’s as if Nick Cave’s lyrics were covered by Justin Timberlake (though not to that extreme).

From In A Dream:
I heard you calling me in a dream with your hands around my neck.
You were asking me to speak while stifling my breath.

Measures is a delightfully good album. Excellent vocals, well-orchestrated melodies, and deliciously dark lyrics make for quite a good listen. Straight from the opening piano-driven Brit-rock refrains of The Cause to the country blues of Arso to the Fleetwood Mac/Nancy Sinatra blend of Standing in the Threat, the band delivers a performance that is catchy and addictively foot-tapping. Walking Sleep took one hell of a punt on self-releasing this album without the backing of a label. Saying that, this album is so good that it is pretty easy to see they will have a success on their hands.

The album will be released on May 25th (US time) through Amazon, iTunes, etc. Until then, the band have it available for download on their Bandcamp site. I recommend checking it out. - Battlemouth.com

"Effortlessly Listenable Pop-Rock"

Effortlessly listenable pop-rock

Formerly the Flying Tourbillon Orchestra and now rechristened Walking Sleep, this new set features lilting pop-rock songs built around the intertwining boy-girl vocals of Hunter Carra and Sara Radle. Neither abrasive nor overly polished, the music occupies a pleasant middle ground comprised of spry melodies, jingling guitars, muscular keyboards, and occasional choral harmonies. Opening track “The Cause” sets the tone, with variations following with “As a Volunteer” and “In a Dream”, complete with glockenspiel ringing throughout the verses and what sounds suspiciously like a theramin lurking in the background. Standout track “Don’t Be Fooled” brings a more frantic pace and some sinister keyboard noodling, while “Arso” is a more sedate number built around fragile vocals and a bed of delicately plucked guitar. Lyrics are suprisingly dark throughout: “We’ve got to die slow” chirps the chorus to album closer “Standing in the Threat”. Walking Sleep have staked their claim as a charming yet accomplished band, and in so doing have released one of the year’s most effortlessly listenable albums. - popmatters.com

"Walking Sleeps Magnificent 'Measures'"

The upcoming album release Measures, by the Los Angeles band Walking Sleep, is a magnificently orchestrated pop-rock performance that keeps the listener involved from the first track to the last. Formerly known as The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra, the 6-piece band formed in 2007, fronted by lead singer and songwriter Hunter Curra. The full band line up includes Curra, Sara Radle, Adam Schary, Daniel “traps” Goldblatt, Aaron Lariviere, and Ethan Walter. Walking Sleep draws from many different music styles and influences, including psychedelic pop and garage rock, yet all the while including unique male and female vocal harmonies on every track.

They sound like The Hush Sound and Camera Obscura mixed with Belle and Sebastian, but still hold their own distinguishing sound. Appropriately, the band lists their influences to range everywhere from Buddy Holly to Fleetwood Mac, and these influences are noticeable on Measures.

Walking Sleep released their debut EP, Escapements, under the band name The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra, and developed a fan following by playing numerous live shows around the greater Los Angeles area. In 2009, Sara Radle, the former vocalist of The Rentals, joined the band and the charming harmonies between Radle and Curra became a focus of the band’s music and style.

Today, the band is busy with their upcoming release of Measures due on May 25th. The album was recorded at the Ship Studio in Eagle Rock, CA and features 10 tracks showcasing Walking Sleep’s talented mix of genres and musical abilities. It starts with “The Cause”, and you’re immediately hooked. Curra has a knack for mixing dark, often melancholy lyrics with upbeat and poppy melodies, and this is apparent starting with the first track on the album: “There’s just no doubt about it/ Yet all the facts remain so clouded, oh no! / There was a great disaster/ we don’t remember anything after, oh no!”

The next few tracks on the album remain strong and melodic; with the military style drum beats on “In A Dream” (again, lyrically dampening the spirits with: “I heard you calling me in a dream/ with your hands around my neck/ you were asking me to speak/ while stifling my breath”). The third track, “Final Chapter”, can easily serve as the album’s first single, as it stands on its own as a powerfully energetic and enjoyable track, both lyrically and in sound.

“Let it Go On” is composed romantically, and resembles a dance like track, such as a waltz. It couples well with “Arso”, the following track, which is melancholy and dreamy, almost like a lullaby.

Walking Sleep has been touring in conjunction with the upcoming release of Measures, having finished a run through Texas in March, and finishing up their residency at The Echo in Los Angeles through the end of April. I highly recommend seeing this band live, and absorbing their sound in person. Get your hands on Measures they day it comes out – this band’s talent will blow you away. - Beatcrave.com


By Kyle Lemmon;

A tourbillon (in French it means “whirlwind”) is a tiny augmentation to the mechanics of a watch escapement. Invented in 1795 by French horologist Abraham-Louis Breguet, the hard-to-make device counters the adverse effects of gravity both in and out of the user’s pocket by transferring constant gyratory action into an oscillating, back-and-forth movement.

Who would have thought that a couple hundred years later, these long forgotten watch mechanisms would serve as inspiration for the symbolic perpetuity of an exemplary pop song. Los Angeles’ rising indie-pop group, The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra (pronounced “tour-bee-yawn”), barters and trades with such currency.

Lead songwriter Hunter Costeau decided on the band’s name and the moniker of its recently self-released debut EP, Escapements, after reading a Wikipedia article on “Time” while sitting in the lunchroom of a tarp factory in L.A.’s Warehouse District during a break from work. Costeau chuckles at the uneventful origin of the story but becomes rather ardent when he reaches the bridge of the discussion: “Something that I’ve written about and been heavily influenced by is the overwhelming stress of years going by without accomplishing enough. For me, time is a big deal and I knew I could write about that forever.”

Quickly growing tired of recording in his room with a four-track, Costeau quickly congealed a band. FTO received an equally swift response from the local music community, gaining radio play on KCRW, Indie 103.1 and KROQ’s Locals Only show, and recorded their debut EP all in the course of one year. Starting with the thought, “I want to play in a band and I want to make friends,” Costeau did just that, surrounding himself with likeminded musicians and a perfect vocal counterpoint in Kelli Noftle’s lilting soprano. The two bring to mind San Francisco’s 20 Minute Loop, suspending their indie-pop harmonies so they’re free of emblematic pop constrictions.

Joining Costeau and Noftle to make up FTO’s current lineup are Adam Schary (guitar), Daniel de Hermon (drums), Aaron La Fontaine (bass) and Ethan Skoczylas (keyboards). The sextet refers to itself as “a morphing group of musicians with a similar disparate collective aim.” That palatable sense of camaraderie extends itself to the East L.A. scene as well. The elder member of the group, de Hermon, positively sees a distinction between the L.A. bands he used to be a part of and the ones FTO plays kickball with on the weekends. “I’ve lived here my whole life and really only in the past couple of years have noticed a sense of community on [L.A.’s] Eastside with Silver Lake, Highland Park and Echo Park. With bands like The Henry Clay People, The Monolators and Le Switch, everyone started to come to each other’s shows. It reminds me of the tight-knit Philadelphia scene.”

In said cavernous tarp factory, which doubles as the band’s practice space, Schary agrees, “We’re not very competitive with one another. I remember knowing bands that were basically assholes to each other … that’s really rare now.” Noftle sums up the discussion about the large group of displaced kids finding community there in L.A.: “All the bloggers unite everyone.”

As far as the home front is concerned, Costeau’s lyrics cast light on something a little farther from personal stories. Escapements follows the travails of a cursed band that must constantly move forward or be doomed to death. “I don’t even know where I got the concept. It must have been some sort of book I saw when I was a child. You’d think it would be really limiting and you’d lose things to write about, but for me, the limitations kind of make it easier.”

Magnificently pursuing new pop landscapes and readying a full length for next year, it looks like this band won’t be falling under a curse anytime soon. Costeau acknowledges the positive effects that playing live has had on the writing process and portends, “On Escapements, you only get a hint of what we will be doing more of on the full length, even though we haven’t recorded a note. It’s more lively.”

www.myspace.com/theflyingtourbillon - West Coast Performer Magazine

"Listen up: Flying Tourbillon Orchestra"

This week's episode of Grey's Anatomy was a bit of a baffling mess, but at least I got one good thing out of it: the discovery of The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra. The LA band's song "The Uniform" from the Escapements EP kicked off Thursday's episode, and it stuck in my head enough that I needed to look it up first thing Friday morning.

Since then, I've become a bit addicted to a few of the other songs on the band's MySpace page, especially "Don't Be Fooled." With unusual rhythms, simple but universal lyrics, and an appealing interplay between the male and female vocals, they remind me of every band I used to love playing back when I was a college radio DJ. It's not revolutionary music or anything, but sometimes it's exactly what I want to hear.

Did anyone else also pick up on this song? To watch a video for the Flying Tourbillon Orchestra's "In a Dream," which is on the same EP as "The Uniform," just read more. - Buzz Sugar

"Know Your LA Bands:"

BeatCrave brings you band, The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra, as part of our Know Your LA Bands series. The term, “orchestra,” may appropriately describe the grand size of the band (six members), but their sound is surprisingly quite charming and demure. With that many members plus their instruments on stage, it’s downright impressive to hear the Orchestra produce such delicateness.

Although their melodies are capable of surrealism, don’t you go wandering off into the lonely singer-songwriter world. The Orchestra’s greatest strength may be the fact that all band members also provide the momentum on top of all those wistful arrangements. That, my friends, is the skill a great indie pop band should posses. The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra isn’t stuck playing gigs at The Hotel Cafe, but they’re rocking venues like The Echo in their own style instead.

Be sure to catch Hunter Costeau, Kelli Noftle, Adam Schary, Daniel de Hermon, Aaron La Fontaine, and Ethan Skoczylas all playing an intricate show this Friday, November 7th, at USC’s Fisher Museum of Art Courtyard along with Castledoor and Xu Xu Fang. What better place to hear such an intimate sound from such a majestic band? The show starts at 7:00pm but until then, check out BeatCrave’s exclusive interview with the band below! You can also read a review of their EP, Escapements, here.
- BeatCrave


2008 - 'Escapements' 5 song EP;
2010 - 'Measures' LP (May release);



Walking Sleep originally formed in 2007 under the name The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra. The six-piece band came together as the natural extension of lead singer Hunter Curra's exploratory songwriting, in which he combined male and female vocal harmonies, classic rhythms, and curiously dark lyrics. Drawing influence across genres and decades, their songs include echoes of the melancholy psychedelic pop of The Zombies, the uptempo stomp of classic Motown, and the moody melodicism of Fleetwood Mac, but placed in a modern context, akin to bands like Belle & Sebastian and The Shins.

In 2008, the band released its debut EP, Escapements, and continued to develop its live performances in front of increasingly larger crowds. The following year, Sara Radle (former vocalist of The Rentals) joined the band to complement Hunter's singing and further highlight the enchanting harmonies that define the sound of Walking Sleep.

The band recently unveiled it's first full length release, Measures, in May 2010. Recorded at the Ship Studio in Eagle Rock, CA with Aaron Espinoza of Earlimart behind the boards, Measures features 10 tracks showcasing the scope and breadth of Walking Sleep's unique sound. From the fast-and-tight garage-rock of 'Final Chapter' to the expansive strings (played by members of The Section Quartet amongst others) and Lee-and-Nancy vocals of 'Let It Go On', the songs offer a variety of textures and hooks while maintaining a strong sense of identity and purpose. In conjunction with the release of Measures in May, the band plans to tour in support of the record.