With the release of their self-titled full-length debut, Toronto band Decade of Sleep builds on the energy of their EP Morning Sun with harder, more mature songs about life, love and everything that gets in the way. Engineered by Denis Tougas and mixed by John "Beetle" Bailey, the Juno award-winners capture the energy and sound of Decade's live performance while highlighting the subtleties hidden within the songs. From the rousing opening track Sympathy to the closing ballad Way of the World the eponymous release abounds with hand claps, harmonies, and its fair share of heartbreaks and hardships. A throwback to the rock and roll heyday of the seventies but with its sing-along choruses and danceable beats, this album is anything but backward thinking. It's the result of two hard years of touring and writing but effortlessly shows off how well the band understands the subtle craft of song writing.
This effortless feeling is carried into their live set where not only does each member shine individually, but the band's energy and musical camaraderie is undeniable. The guys feed off each other's energy to deliver a show that showcases the essence of their music and infects the hearts of their audience. The songs are at once intensely personal and infectiously universal. Lead singer Philip Laffin draws people in with his strong vocals and his charisma radiates out to the rest of the band and the crowd. Drummer Mat Pataki and bass player Eric Walker are rhythm technicians that move the band effortlessly through its most unlikely endeavours and always deliver a big pay off. The finishing touches are added by the distinctive tone and expressive playing of guitarist Lance Schibler whom, combined with Laffin, keeps the audience connected to the band throughout the show. Although their pop influences are undeniable, Decade of Sleep write sophisticated songs that fall naturally into odd time signatures and intricate rhythmic figures. Add to the mix some rousing drum beats and sophisticated lyrics and it seems there's no stadium big enough to hold them in, but also no room small enough to capture the nuances of their songs.
Born out the ashes of alt-bluegrass quartet The Skywriters, Decade of Sleep was formed in London Ontario and has since captured the hearts and ears of Toronto. They are signed to Canadian indie label Tangents North Music - home of John Landry and David Francey. They have been nominated for a Toronto Indie Music Award for best live band, they've had their song "The Lull" from their morning sun EP aired in an episode of Degrassi TNG, and have played at some of Toronto's most storied venues like The Horseshoe Tavern, Lee's Palace and The Molson Amphitheatre. The band has a rich pedigree with all members boasting impressive musical resumes. Born in Marystown, Newfoundland, Laffin studied music in Nova Scotia only to give up the glamourous student life to hone his chops as the front man of a popular east coast band. He later moved to Iqaluit, Nunavut where he wrote songs under the midnight sun and captured the hearts of the locals singing his heart out three nights a week. Guitarist Schibler brings with him a Humber-college jazz guitar education, along with significant engineering talent made even sharper from his day job at a successful Toronto recording studio. Likewise, drummer Pataki has been playing music since he was a teenager and has become a rising star in the Canadian engineering scene. Bass player Walker has been playing professionally in bands since the age of 16 and was the house guitarist at The Rainbow in Ottawa before he was old enough to drink.
With the album coming out this fall, Decade of Sleep is ready to hit the road in their first ever East Coat tour. Returning to Laffin's roots, the band will be playing shows all the way from Toronto to Sydney N.S., hitting every large city and small town in between, but always remembering to stop to enjoy the lights of Montreal, the sweet sea air in Halifax and the always refreshing east coast hospitality.