Sleepyhead have recorded their upcoming sixth album, The new alchemy, helmed by respected producer and Q Division co-founder Jon Lupfer at the legendary Boston-area recording studio Q Division. They release the album August 19 through Wild Sometimes Records as a digital download and via streaming platforms and plan to play as many shows as they can manage from here on out.

The new alchemy Sleepyhead founders drummer/vocalist Rachael McNally and guitarist/vocalist Chris O’Rourke, as well as bassist/vocalist/keyboardist Derek van Beever, who joined the trio in 2004, a few years after the other two moved to Boston. The title track The new alchemy It was inspired by the exploits of the New Alchemy Institute, a utopian endeavor founded by idealistic scientists in Falmouth, Massachusetts, hometown of Sleepyhead guitarist/vocalist Chris O’Rourke in the 1970s.

Members of the New Alchemical Institute viewed nature as the primary designer of systems to support the human population of this planet. Careful observation of natural cycles and processes inspired their templates for truly sustainable forms of agriculture and animal husbandry. They studied intensive horticulture, biological pest control, cover cropping, irrigation using fishpond water, perennial forage crops and tree crops. They raised fish in above-ground, transparent tanks; wastewater was used in hydroponic farming as well as for irrigation of greenhouse crops. For years, Chris wanted to write a song inspired by this special place he visited on school trips as a child, and he finally did. Then the band decided to create a great album title.

Today Slide is pleased to present its exclusive premiere The new alchemy ahead of its release later this week. With a mix of dream pop, indie rock and jingle pop, the album delivers the band’s tightest to date and reminds us just how good they are. Reminiscent of the likes of Yo La Tengo, Wilco, Luna and even The Delines and Richmond Fontaine, the band also becomes a familiar sound as they venture into new territory. Airy, almost surf-like guitars complement the band’s simplistic vocal harmonies and dreamy lyrics, not to mention their ability to mute vocals and often layer in a melange of instruments to give every song a high quality. All of this comes together to produce a collection of catchy, poignant and downright damn good songs.

The band describes the inspiration and process behind the album:

We are proud to present to the world the New Alchemy album into which we poured our heart and soul. This is our sixth full-length album, but the first to be the culmination of many years of work after joining forces with Derek, who has brought so much to the band. Creating and playing this music has helped bring us so much joy and peace over the past few years, and we hope that now it can do the same for other people!


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