CAROLINE SMITH & THE GOOD NIGHT SLEEPS
Presented by 89.3 The Current and City Pages
New Retribution Gospel Choir video "The Stone (Revolution!)" :
Little Wind is the sophomore release from Minneapolis’ Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps. The album expands upon the band’s debut LP Backyard Tent Set’s storytelling whimsy, but shifts its foundation from the simplicities of gentle folk instrumentation to greater nuances of musical arrangement and soundscape rooted in modern indie rock. Loyal to the heart of the band’s sound, however, their songs continue to be characterized by unforgettable and endearing pop melodies. Most recognizable throughout their music, and the defining quality to their success, is Caroline Smith’s alto timbre, quivering through vibrato, classic, and controlled with the presence of Billie Holiday, Leslie Feist, and Joanna Newsom.
Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps began with just Caroline Smith as an 18-year-old songwriter in 2006, who earned her place in the Midwest music community. She began her career with a residency at Minneapolis' 400 Bar, a venue pivotal in shaping the careers of Elliott Smith, Conor Oberst, and local hero, Mason Jennings, who less than a decade before began his own career with the same residency. A year later, Caroline befriended drummer Arlen Peiffer (Cloud Cult), bassist Jesse Schuster, and multi-instrumentalist David Earl and the boys joined forces to support Caroline's folk tunes as “the Good Night Sleeps.” The release of their debut LP Backyard Tent Set, seven national tours, and constant circuit through the Midwest has garnered a committed following of audiences around the US.
The newest LP, released on September 20, 2011 via Boulder label and management company United Interests, tested the Good Night Sleeps’ boundaries and the developed intricacies of each song and the album as a whole shine in each of the ten tracks. "This record took a lot out of us as a band. We were in a huge transitional period when we were writing these songs and still not completely comfortable with any of them when we finally went into the studio. But because we were so unsettled with everything, the songs and the band, the record means so much more to us now because we got to see it all come together in front of our eyes and turn in to something we are all so proud of," says Caroline Smith. Little Wind was recorded at the Terrarium in Minneapolis with Jason Orris (Polara, Happy Apple, Haley Bonar) and was mixed by Tom Herbers (Low, Dark Dark Dark, Andrew Bird). After celebrating Little Wind's release with a sold-out show at Minneapolis's legendary First Avenue, Caroline Smith & The Good Night Sleeps have set out on a national tour, and hope to see you soon.
It's one thing for a band to sound big, to fill up a room, or to just plain rock out. But it's another thing altogether for a band to make its audience feel as though time has stopped, and to transport them to other places. Retribution Gospel Choir might as well be relaying their songs from another planet. Singer, guitarist, and musical shaman Alan Sparhawk seems as though he's channeling something otherworldly. Such is the Duluth maestro's intensity when he gets onstage with the gnarly, white-hot side project to his other band, Low.
What started as a demo project for Andrew Jansen turned into a full band named after the content of the songs he was writing about, Crimes. The original demos, with all parts performed by Andrew, were about a seedy action, jealousy, or crime. The songs were posted online and paired with links to Minneapolis Crime Statistic. Many seemed interested in the tunes so Luke Friedrich, Reese Hagy, and Hannah Fraser were brought on to bring the hazy jangle of Crimes to life.