Photo by Sergey Golub
“Combines the sarcasm of Vampire Weekend with the more accessibly baroque style of the mid-career Beatles, and occasionally leaning towards the atmospheric a-la-Real Estate. It’s instantly catchy and carefully produced.”
Sleepwalkers’ debut album Greenwood Shade gained the Richmond, VA-based band high profile fans including singer-songwriter Ryan Adams, who tweeted “this record is like the lost friend I was looking for but didn’t know,” and their upbeat, infectious melodies and raw instrumentals led to incredible organic growth fueled mainly by word of mouth. As they gear up for a label release of the initially self-released Greenwood Shade, Sleepwalkers have hit the road hard, channeling their unparalleled live energy into shows across the country.
At the core, Sleepwalkers are a band of brothers from Richmond, Virginia. As with any pair of brothers, there’s always a mythology.
In other bands with other names, Michael and Austin York wrote and performed songs years ahead of their chronological age. The band broke up and the brothers locked themselves in a studio every night for god knows how long. In 2014, they reemerged with Greenwood Shade: a perfect-sounding album that makes you feel like Todd Rundgren should have toured with Whitney Houston.
Like Romulus and Remus, they were raised by wolves. Like Orville and Wilbur Wright, they’re self-taught. Like Ray and Dave Davies, they write incredibly expansive pop songs that comfortably straddle a half-dozen genres.
Sleepwalkers are very Fleetwood in every sense of the word: the songs are airtight and delicately arranged like Tusk and they glide past you with the velour and confidence of a four thousand-pound Cadillac. All of it feels painstakingly luxe and timeless, but not all sentimental. It’s also fun as hell.