The Stages of Sleep is described by most as Indie Gypsy Rock. They have been compared to such bands as Patrick Watson, Beirut, Alt-J, and Gogol Bordello to name a few. Accessible, often danceable, yet intricate and subtly textured, their sound defies expectation and consistently impresses audiences.
Based in San Francisco, The Stages of Sleep was first dreamed up by long-time friends Seth Paris and Jason Ardiles. In the summer of 2008, Paris had recently returned from musical studies in Ghana, and called up Ardiles to get together and collaborate. Ardiles had been honing his songwriting and performance skills in solo as well as collaborative efforts for years, and was ready for a project that was more – more dynamic, more improvisational, more colorful, more unpredictable. Their vision was grand – music that crossed genres, eras, and ethnic boundaries – they set no limits. Over the next few years, the two collaborated with fellow childhood friends, drummer Steven Horgan and percussionist/mixing engineer Max Savage, as well as bass player Brian Wilkerson. In recording sessions on both sides of the country, the group created complex multi-instrumental arrangements and brought in an impressive array of session musicians, from The Quartet Rouge of the Green Day musical “American Idiot” to Trumpet/French horn player Kelly Pratt of Beirut. (Early tracks from these sessions were released as the self-titled Stages of Sleep EP in April 2011, while later material is featured on their latest release Carousel.)
In early 2011, with solid recorded material under their belt, the group turned their attention to creating a live act to match their richly layered recordings. They soon picked up flute and horn player Nicholas Hasty, guitarist Eli Carlton-Pearson, and violinist Isabel Sokol-Oxman to round out their line-up. Bringing to life their eclectic, funky, passionate songs, the band has earned a loyal following for their unique sound and their no-holds-barred live performances. 2012 saw the group continuing to perform live as well as returning to the studio to record new material for their forthcoming album.
The Stages of Sleep released their full-length debut on December 7, 2012. Carousel takes listeners on a journey from childhood innocence, through adolescent debauchery, to adult heartache and loss, and back again. Featuring introspective lyrics, complex melodies, and lush orchestration, blended with intricate rhythms, the album is at once demanding and subtle, insistent yet fragile, and ultimately commands attention.
In early 2013, violinist Magali Sang-Quartier joined The Stages of Sleep (Sokol-Oxman had left in 2012). The group performs regularly throughout the West Coast, with plans for expanded touring to celebrate the release of Carousel underway.