Originating as a trio based in Madison, WI, Sleeping in the Aviary has evolved into a Minneapolis, MN, quintet including Elliott Kozel (vocals, guitar), Phil Mahlstadt (bass), Michael Sienkowski (drums, backing vocals), Celeste Heule (accordion, keyboards, musical saw), and Kyle Sobczak (guitar). All the members have roots in southeastern Wisconsin, and have been playing music for a decade and more in a near-countless number of bands and one-off projects. Those varied experiences and experiments have resulted in the bouillabaisse of sounds offered in their discography: from the power chord-fueled pop-punk of Oh, This Old Thing? (2007), to the mostly acoustic indie-folk of Expensive Vomit in a Cheap Hotel (2008), to the soul-influenced pop of Great Vacation (2010).
"It's got a fuzzed-out doo-wop feeling, and all the songs are about girls!" says Kozel, describing the band's fourth full-length album, You and Me, Ghost, released by Science of Sound Records on September 6, 2011. "It's like Dion and the Belmonts with a hangover trying to figure out how to use a Big Muff pedal, or the Everly Brothers beating up some kid in the bathroom of a high-school gymnasium and then feeling bad about it later." In the ever-expanding musical universe that is Sleeping in the Aviary, asking what they're up to now will often reward the questioner with an unexpected response and be accompanied by some great music, genre boundaries be damned. For You and Me, Ghost the band's sound takes on the influence of an earlier era but still sounds undeniably like Sleeping in the Aviary.