Sleeping Sound on rockin ground: Stevie and the Sleepers
We cannot categorize the front woman of this outfit; part soul mama, part wandering roots woman, Stevie Grumont leads a distinct assembly of artistic collaborators. The Sleepers play rock and soul, there’s a strain of blues heartbreak behind the riffs, with the storytelling genius of a good 70s folk tune. Add a peppered dash of cool gangster and you’ve got the Sleepers.
Stevie incarnates on the debut EP like a worldly yet hardened belle that just stepped out of a 1930s film noire set. She’s a raw talent with voice that connects your soul with her lyrics. Not in the least the heartbreaking and sombre To the Sea. The Sleepers have fused many genres and shaken them up – hence the title of the EP Shake It Up. Drawing a heavy cloud of influence from Otis Redding, Fleetwood Mac, Sam Cooke, Joe Cocker, Amy Winehouse, Etta James, Janelle Monae and Janis Joplin they exhale a unique take on old sounds. Nothing is worn out – this is no retro rehash, but a revival of rock festival vibes.
On her destiny to lead a band, Stevie is forthright, “My parents naming me Stevie gave me no other choice, I had to sing” she says with a grin. Her ensemble all seem to breathe music. Guitarist and vox-man Jason Fados says “If I had to choose between my guitar and a woman, it would be the guitar.” Perhaps not as monogamous to their instruments, the rest of the players are seasoned performers with a sense of a good jam. They include Angie (backing vocals), Ben (drums) and Alex (bass) who all met as younger musicians a few years before the Sleepers assembled around their song writing lead singer.
A quick ride through the EP reveals the depth of genre the band soaks in. Happy Days calls on better times with the desperately faithful melancholy of a Gospel diva. There’s a cheeky blend of soul and funk in Two Baby Daddies and Faster For You. The gem of this EP is the final track To The Sea. This is where Stevie finds herself in the good company of Joplin and Cocker; its rock and folk, a slow but heavy revelation of her voice and power as a performer and lyricist. The poetry of the track it’s almost painful in its poignancy – it’s a love song with an undertow, and it pulls you in with a soulful epitaph to life and loss. Shake It Up marks Stevie and the Sleepers as one of Australia’s most promising roots rock acts. Very good news for those waking from an induced coma of packaged talent and sterilized rock pop. This is music as we knew it.
Wake and shake, it’s no time for sleeping.
- Ding Dong Lounge – EP Launch
- Cherry Bar
- Northcote Social Club
- Ding Dong Lounge Residency – Mo’ Soul
- The Espy
- Yah Yah’s – Video Launch
- Sooki Lounge – Video Launch
- The Toff
- Panacea Music Festival
- Basin Music Festival
- End of the Line Music Festival
- Darebin Music Festival
- The Retreat
- B East
- The Rainbow Hotel
- Brunswick Hotel
- Stevie & The Sleepers video “To The Sea” won best Music Video & Best Cinematography at the 2016 Stage One International Film Festival, held at Movie World on the Gold Coast
- Sold out shows at Ding Dong Lounge, Yah Yah’s & The Brunswick Hotel
- Over 65,000 views on the bands YouTube videos
- American rapper Coolio personally tweeted his approval of Stevie & The Sleepers cover of “Gangsters Paradise”
- Stevie & The Sleepers song “Faster For You” was featured in the 2014 independent film “Zoe Misplaced”
- American rock band “The Heavy” personally expressed their love for Stevie’s voice in Stevie & The Sleepers cover of “What Makes A Good Man”
- Sold over 2000 copies of debut EP “Shake It Up”
- Topped AMRAP Airit Charts
- Selected finalists at the Melbourne Film Festival (2015)
- Selected finalist at the Dragon Dreaming Film Festival (2015)
- Performed live on TV and Community Radio stations