Polite Sleeper performing in Munich, Germany, November 2007. Photo by Clemens
|Origin||Brooklyn, New York, United States|
Polite Sleeper was formed in the spring of 2007 by Jason Orlovich and Tim Wilson in Brooklyn, NY. Prior to 2007, all three members had lived in San Francisco, where Wilson and Orlovich played along with Steven Chamberlain in the punk band The Yellow Press, and Michael Curtes played in bands including Lost in Found, Barbarossa and nLannon. In the winter of 2007, Orlovich and Wilson self-recorded and released the self-titled debut EP on Sabotage Records, the Bremen, Germany-based label founded in 2002 which has also released albums by Japanther, Team Robespierre, Austin Lucas, and Autistic Youth. They met Curtes in the summer of 2007, and self-recorded their first full-length record as a trio, Seens, in the fall of 2007. Seens was released in the fall of 2008 by Sabotage Records.
Polite Sleeper's second full-length, Lake Effect, was released on September 29, 2009 and recorded by Aaron Prellwitz (who has also recorded Death Cab for Cutie, Mark Kozelek, Erase Errata) at Seaside Lounge in Brooklyn over a period of six days in December 2008. Lake Effect peaked at No. 177 on the College Music Journal Top 200 charts on September 8, 2009. The album was reviewed favorably by several alternative music publications, including Tracer, Last Broadcast, Communicazione Interna of Italy, and IntroDE of Germany. As of 2012, the band has completed six European tours and several U.S. regional tours.
In 2011 Polite Sleeper recorded their latest album, Turf, over multiple tracking and mixing sessions in Brooklyn with Nick Stumpf (of French Kicks) and Phil Palazzolo, who has also recorded Neko Case, Okkervil River, New Pornographers and Ted Leo. The record was self-produced with additional recording done by the band. A limited vinyl edition of 300 copies was released by the band in January 2011 and a limited edition of 100 CDs was released by the band in March 2012. The single "West Side High" was chosen as KEXP's "Song of the Day" in February 2011 by John Richards.
The music of Polite Sleeper revolves around a strong rhythm section and features no bass, with arrangements featuring an assortment of piano and keyboards together with acoustic guitar and drums. The early bedroom recordings that became the debut EP include banjo, pedal steel and harmonica, while more recent studio output focuses on three part harmonies and more streamlined compositions. Lake Effect was described by Cool Hunting as "straddling the hazy line between folk and indie rock." The Deli NYC wrote "Every song is set to a rapid metronome of sound, infusing two beloved music genres - folk and punk". Polite Sleeper's recordings have also been described as lo-fi. Their lyrics are often performed in a spoken, shouted or gang style. Polite Sleeper's live performances feature a Yamaha CP-70B stage piano and homemade trap kit and the trio often plays in the round.
- Polite Sleeper EP (2007, CD & 12" Sabotage Records)
- Seens LP (2008, CD & 12" Sabotage Records)
- Lake Effect LP (2009, CD Expect Candy | 12" Sabotage Records)
- Turf LP (2011, 12" & CD Self-released)
- Rubens, Carrie (February 10, 2011). "Song of the Day: Polite Sleeper – West Side High". KEXP.
- Rich, Michael (November 19, 2009). "Album Review: Polite Sleeper - Lake Effect". TRACER.
- Black, Doug (September 9, 2009). "Polite Sleeper: Lake Effect". Cool Hunting.
- Schildhause, Chloe (October 30, 2009). "Polite Sleeper new album 'Lake Effect' is out now on Sabotage". The Deli NYC.
- Monk, Sam (October 2009). "Polite Sleeper: 'Lake Effect'". Last Broadcast.
- Espejo, Roman (July 2010). "Sleeper Projects Drum Kit". Cool Hunting.