For someone with a natural ability to write straightforward rock songs, Dave Segedy is lacking in confidence. Or, more accurately, he’s lacking in certainty. If you were to waltz into Segedy’s Bloomington home this morning to inform him that he his, in fact, not the lead singer of a band called Sleeping Bag, nor is the band releasing their sophomore LP on Joyful Noise Recordings, the news would likely be met with less an indignant denial and more a calm, “I knew it.”
As a songwriter, Segedy is keenly aware that the facts from which we assimilate our notion of reality are generally up for debate, if not altogether false. The Women of Your Life serve as the lone source of truth or reality in Segedy’s world. The intense white in the corner of their eyes. The heartache of being “rolled over” by the now immortal Allison Cole. If we say farewell to the opposite sex as Segedy commands in the album’s title track, we’re essentially abandoning the only tangible objects available and life becomes a suspicious house of mirrors.
Musically, Sleeping Bag picks up where they left off on last year’s self-titled debut. The band continues to pay homage to the founding fathers of slacker rock. Evan Pearson’s assessment of the band’s sound as “Pavement on Xanax” remains as accurate a description as any. However, Sleeping Bag proves less sedated on Women of Your Life. It’s more dynamic than the debut and offers up a broader breadth of emotion.
Sleeping Bag offers up restrained power pop sensibilities on “Nightmare.” On follow-up “Saturday Night” listeners are reminded that this band began as a drum project when the guitar and bass provide less of a melody than a danceable confluence of polyrhythms. Sleeping Bag has proven they can churn out more than their signature: the beautiful bummer, although this album certainly has its fair share (see: “Still Life”).
Fortunately for listeners, Sleeping Bag is a real band. Women of Your Life is a real record. At least, I think so. I’ll know for sure when my pre-order arrives. Order your copy today from Joyful Noise. Listen to “Saturday Night” below.
Written by Rob Peoni
Women of Your Life, the sophomore album from Bloomington, IN’s Sleeping Bag is one of my most anticipated releases of the latter half of 2012. The band offered one of the best debut records of last year in its self-titled LP on Joyful Noise Recordings. Built around the sedated delivery of lead singer Dave Segedy, Sleeping Bag crafted these beautiful, angst-ridden bummers that proved impossible to dislodge from the brain. The lethargic vocals coupled with the effortless simplicity of the music gave the album an air of satire, as if Segedy was gently mocking the indie rock genre his band fit so neatly within. The flip-side was that Sleeping Bag ran the risk of becoming one-dimensional.
I’m pleased to say that, upon initial inspection, Women of Your Life puts to rest any early concerns. Sleeping Bag offers a wider range of emotion and displays a willingness to venture beyond its comfort zone without abandoning the foundation that brought them this far. On no track is this more apparent than the hypnotic, existential crisis of “Saturday Night.” It’s a foot-stomper that finds the band exploring more complex rhythms than anything from the debut. Above it all, Segedy poses a series of absurdist rhetorical questions in a way that is completely abstract from the music’s danceable nature. Unfortunately, that track is no longer available for streaming. So, listen to it when you buy the record.
Joyful Noise is releasing 300 copies of Women of Your Life on mint green vinyl, packaged in hand-screened jackets. Pre-order your copy from Sleeping Bag’s Bandcamp page. The record drops on November 27. However, pre-orders feature an immediate digital download. Listen to lead single “Walk Home” and check out the track listing to Women of Your Life below.
1. Women of Your LIfe
2. Soda You
3. Soccer Ball
4. Allison Cole
5. In the Pocket
7. Saturday Night
9. Still LIfe
10. Walk Home
Written by Rob Peoni