Pre-Order the upcoming release, About Last Night by Sleeper Agent, and get a limited* autographed CD booklet with purchase!
These days, the sextet (which includes frontwoman Alex Kandel, singer/guitarist and principal songwriter Tony Smith, bassist Lee Williams, guitarist Josh Martin, drummer Justin Wilson, and keyboardist Scott Gardner) are bent on jettisoning past their title as the Little Act That Could from Bowling Green, Kentucky. "Sleeper Agent started out as a fun, goofy side project," explains Tony. "I don't want this to be silly for the rest of my life. I want to embrace this seriously and treat it with respect for the people responding to it. About Last Night is a stepping stone."
Though their ambitions have grown, Sleeper Agent's approach continues to be disarmingly simple: delivering joyously melodies, even when they're bumming out. For instance, About Last Night's first single, "Waves," manages to be both plaintive and percussive-ruminating on the rigors of touring, then snapping out of that depression. Concedes Tony: "That was me, excavating my emotions."
About Last Night was born after Tony started scribbling together song skeletons on tour. The group fleshed out those compositions after decamping their tour bus to shack up together in a log cabin in Middle of Nowhere, East Kentucky. It didn't even have mobile service. "The cabin was hand-built by a World War II general," interjects Alex. "And actually, it was like a sanctuary."
Instead of killing each other in their secluded camp, they watched The Godfather, cooked family dinners, and emerged five days later with 10 solid tracks-among them, "Waves." The songs were recorded in Nashville (with Jay Joyce) and Charleston (with Eric Bass), and both encouraged us to "quit over-thinking it," says Tony. "We did a great job on the last record with melodies but tried to cover them up with distortion. We were scared to be melodic. Jay and Eric were like, 'Go for it,' and made it shimmer a bit."
"We really pushed ourselves," adds Alex. "We rewrote songs over and over again until they felt right. We spent a week on the last record, but got to spend almost a year on this one." The sauntering, lower-register "Haunting Me" was her white whale. "It had a lot of vocal subtleties," she says. "And it went from sounding like something that could end on the cutting-room floor to being one of my favorite songs on the record." Still, Alex admits true validation will come from road-testing these songs. "I can't wait to get back to doing what we do best, and that's touring."
Sleeper Agent's North American Tour Dates:
- 1/23 - Amo's Southend - Charlotte, NC
- 1/24 - Ziggy's By The Sea - Wilmington, NC
- 1/26 - Rock and Roll Hotel - Washington, DC
- 1/27 - The Sinclair - Cambridge, MA
- 1/28 - Opera House - Toronto, Canada
- 1/29 - Higher Ground - South Burlington, VT
- 1/30 - Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY
- 1/31 - The Met Cafe - Providence, RI
- 2/04 - Shelter - Detroit, MI
- 2/05 - Newport Music Hall - Columbus, OH
- 2/06 - Bottom Lounge - Chicago, IL
- 2/07 - Firebird - St Louis, MO
- 2/08 - Rave - Milwaukee, WI
- 2/09 - Triple Rock - Minneapolis, MN
- 2/11 - Club Sound - Salt Lake City, UT
- 2/12 - Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Las Vegas, NV
- 2/15 - Soho Music Club - Santa Barbara, CA
- 2/16 - The Independent - San Francisco, CA
- 2/17 - House of Blues - San Diego, CA
- 2/18 - The Observatory - Santa Ana, CA
- 2/19 - Troubadour - West Hollywood, CA
- 2/24 - Bardot-Hollywood - Los Angeles, CA
*Offer valid only with purchase of About Last Night. This special offer is valid for both domestic and international orders. Pre-ordered CDs shipping with promotional items are limited to (5) per customer. Autographed CD booklets will be available while supplies last, newburycomics.com will post information when autographed booklets are sold out.