By Andrea Hrynyk
CALGARY — With members from Calgary bands Chad VanGaalen & the Bleach Wipes, Ghostkeeper, Devonian Gardens and Witchstone, the members of Sleepkit have been fixtures in the Calgary music scene for years.
Other than bassist Ryan Bourne and keyboardist Marie Sulkowski, Sleepkit features Eric Hamelin, who was previously with Chad VanGaalen and Ghostkeeper on drums and Joleen Toner, who was a member of both The Slabs and Witchstone.
The name Sleepkit came from a personal experience of one of the co-founders of the band, Sulkowski. Her friend was sleep walking into a room and asked, “Do you sleepers have your sleep kits?”
Scott Munro of Preoccupations (f.k.a. Viet Cong) recorded the four-piece band’s 11-track post-disco album, Champion Weekend, in about 10 days and is set to release on May 6th.
“Monty [Scott Munro] was a firecracker,” Bourne admits. “Responding to our ideas in really fresh ways, playing and singing on it, it was a really up, ecstatic, dynamic conversation.”
Their album can be described as “a river of love and death, ecstasy and depression with iridescent currents and glitter ripples.”
“It’s a whole rainbow of sounds, it’s kind of hard to pinpoint,” Sulkowski adds.
It is a collection of songs that were created after the band’s Devonian Gardens tour in 2014.
Their first music video off of Champion Weekend, the catchy electronic tune “Constantinople,” was shot by Calgary filmmakers Ryan Scott and Alex Moon one afternoon at the Pith Gallery in Inglewood, before it closed. It was the end of Calgary artist Ryan Statz’s painting show, so one of his paintings appeared in their video.
“The video was shot with a bunch of gear, some wine, some good friends and the Sleepkit “boho sport-glam” wardrobe,” Bourne says.
“The principal idea was to mash up one particular Sparks video and every Abba video with nods to the Beastie Boys, [David] Bowie and ELO [Electric Light Orchestra].”
“It was a riot for us, hilarious and at the same time ran very smoothly and efficiently,”
Scott and Moon took the lead, making the big creative decisions and deciding what shots they wanted to take, often getting them done in single takes.
The two filmmakers also took on the editing job, which took a few months to do.
Someone who has never seen a Sleepkit show before can expect a high energy dance party, a little bit of improvising, a lot of glitter, and the band’s wild outfits.
Sleepkit will be having a release party for the album May 5 at Broken City.AB, Alberta, Broken City, Sleepkit