Brisbane band Art of Sleeping have just released their second EP, titled Like a Thief, and it has taken the world by storm. Jarryd Shuker (keys player) invited us along for the ride and talked about the journey that has become a reality.
When asked to compare the process of making Like a Thief to Colourblind, Jarryd explained: “There is definitely a significant difference. In the past with Colourblind, it wasn’t really a planned EP. Four songs were thrown together and it was recorded in all different places. It was really DIY with both the songwriting and the production. This time it was a great experience. We put a lot more time into writing and narrowed it down from twenty songs to five. We also had Yanto Browning on board with production; he did a really great job and brought a lot to the table. It was a really different experience to the Colourblind EP.”
He then talked about first single Empty Hands, “It was funny, because we weren’t sold on which single we wanted to release first. We had about three there. We were umming and ahhing for three weeks over which one we were going to pick. It wasn’t actually until about half an hour before that we changed our mind around five times, and we ended up going with Empty Hands. I guess the roll of the dice kind of worked, and a bit of good fortune.”
The song also comes with an outstanding film clip that is truly unique. It coincides perfectly with the song. Jarryd told us how it came about: “There’s no real deep meaning behind it…but if you look at it in a literal sense, we are recruiting into our little tribe of bush people. It was never meant to be a really deep film clip. We just wanted to create strong imagery around the band, being our first official film clip. The animals, the colour grade, and everything about it felt like Art of Sleeping.”
Second single Above the Water is charming fans with its acoustic sound. Jarryd says, “Above the Water meant a lot to us. It is a narrative of a firsthand experience: how one of the guys in the band saw a relationship between a father and son just break down when it shouldn’t have. It hit home; the lyrics are really honest and there is a lot of integrity to them. That one is a favourite for us. We wanted it to go on purely because of the honesty that the song had. Our background comes from acoustic-sounding music, so that is why songs like Above the Water made it on the EP.
Jarryd talked about what other musicians inspire the band to create such a thrilling sound: “We all appreciate bands like Mumford and Sons, Local Natives, and Foals. I listen to Jeff Buckley to death, then some really older stuff like Neil Young. His songwriting and integrity is inspiring and is something that we look up to.” Although a fan of The Kooks, he mentioned, “I went through a phase where I listened to them heaps a few years ago. Maybe subconsciously they are an influence, but I never really noticed.”
The band couldn’t be more excited to be additionally announced for Falls and Southbound festivals: “We can’t wait to get to get to those festivals. We are lucky enough to be playing Lorne and Marion Bay for Falls … Boy and Bear, Two Door Cinema Club and Angus Stone, who I’ve been listening to heaps recently. I haven’t seen Two Door Cinema Club or Angus Stone, so I’m really looking forward to that. It is just going to be great. (Performing on) New Year’s Eve is perfect. We can’t wait to get down there and hang out!”
Like a Thief debuted in the official ARIA charts and is doing wonders in terms of success. Jarryd explained: “We’re really excited about the ARIA showcase … playing with The Preatures, Harts, and Bertie Blackman. We love Oxford Art Factory, so that is just another plus. We were blown away with the EP debut on the ARIA charts. It means a lot that people take the time to listen to our music and follow us. We are really happy with the growing fan base that we have. Everyone seems to be really supportive and it means a lot when they come to shows and buy our EPs.”
The Like a Thief EP launch is fast approaching, and Jarryd told us what we can expect at the shows: “We have toured a lot this year. We figured that if we were going to be doing an EP launch, we had to make it different. For the first time this year we are going to be doing visuals with a projector showing artwork behind while we’re playing. It brings a new dimension to the performance. We will be throwing in some new songs to try them out, which we are pretty happy with. We always like to throw a cover in as well.”
It’s not all just about touring though. When the band get some leisure time, they “just basically live at the beach. The next day we will hunt down a good café and a good beach, and spend most of our time there.”
With the Hottest 100 only two months away, we asked Jarryd who he thought might be strong contenders, “I’ve got no idea. There is no way we will make it. I think you will see Mumford and Sons, Sarah Blasko and Alt-J … something like that. Songs that are released in November and December sneak in above those that were released about year ago.”
Like a Thief EP is out now through Dew-Process.
Like a Thief EP Launch Shows:
Friday, 23 November – The Zoo, Brisbane
Monday, 26 November – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Tuesday, 27 November – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne