Graveyard Club recorded a collection of haunted, synth-laden songs in a 19th century mansion in St. Paul, Minnesota in the fall of 2013. These songs would comprise the group’s lo-fi debut EP Sleepwalk, released in January 2014. Founding members Matthew Schufman (vocals, synths) and Michael Wojtalewicz (guitar) began the project inspired by a unique list of shared interests: the classic short stories of sci-fi author Ray Bradbury, the music of Ryan Gosling’s little-known band Dead Man’s Bones, and a fascination with both 50’s crooners and 80’s pop music.
By the spring of 2014, the band had expanded to include members Cory Jacobs (drums) and Amanda Zimmerman (bass, vocals). The newly bolstered lineup resulted in a more dynamic sound, adding a brighter dance-friendly feel to the spooky retro vibes of their earlier work. The four-piece then teamed with Ed Ackerson at Flowers Studio in Minneapolis to record their first full-length album, Nightingale. This release saw singles “Into the Dark,” “The Night is Mine,” and “Fire in the Sky” quickly become fan-favorites. During this time the band also began establishing a reputation for their live shows around the Twin Cities and surrounding areas, including playing supporting slots for various indie acts such as The Drums and Cayucas.
In the latter half of 2015 and early 2016, Graveyard Club wrote and recorded their sophomore LP, Cellar Door at Humans Win! studio in Minneapolis. The album stays true to their dreamy new-wave sound while venturing into more ambitious sonic territory. The songs range from sugary dance-pop (No Heart, Dying Days, Diamond City), to dark and surfy (Lose My Vision, Forever), to boldly anthemic (Nightcrawler, Werewolf Teeth). Lyrically, Schufman consistently eschews personal narrative in favor of gothic-romantic imagery, tackling larger bittersweet themes of nostalgia, love, and death.