Sleepy Zuhoski

Better Haze

Palo Santo Records

On his debut album, Better Haze, Garrett “Sleepy” Zuhoski went into the studio with a collection of songs he’d been working on for years. “It was a little unconventional,” says Zuhoski, “because we started with just the acoustic guitar and the vocals.” No doubt, it was this approach in the studio with producer Salim Nourallah (Old 97s, The Damnwells, Nicholas Altobelli) that gave his vocals a shoe-gazing, late-night phone confessional quality. “I was fascinated at how good that came out but it also kept me from getting too hyped when things started happening.”

 

The songs on Better Haze run the gamut of styles and influences. “I like a lot of variety,” says Zuhoski. “It keeps me from getting bored.” From the moody, ethereal folk and playful melancholia of “Asleep for a Year” and “Sour,” to The Foals dance-infused rock of “New Tattoo” and “Tsunami,” to the Radiohead-inspired sci-fi rock of “On a Cloud” and “Hate To Sleep,” there is no shortage of eclecticism. “I do kind of bounce around on different things. One of the cool things about working with a producer like Salim is he helped give it a cohesive element.”

 

Zuhoski attributes a lot of the ethereal and synthesized sounds to Dallas-based guitarist and composer, Nick Earl (Polyphonic Spree). “Nick would do ten or fifteen passes, trying different things every time. Sometimes it would be really hard to pick through all the cool things he had done. I’ve never heard a guitar sound like that.”

 

Creating and recording music has been a lifelong passion for Zuhoski who has lived in and outside of Dallas since the early nineties by way of Wisconsin and New York. “I remember being 5 or 6, before I could read or write, and making tapes of myself singing freeform, stream of consciousness crap. I guess every kid probably goes through that but it never really stopped for me.” That playful nature comes across in songs like the whimsical, Oedipal nightmare romp of “Love You to Death” and the hopeful, wide-eyed ballad, “Books.”

 

As a teenager, Zuhoksi discovered musicians like Radiohead, Bjork and Sigur Ros who impressed upon him the many ways music could be written and recorded, other than the post-grunge and pop that was on the radio. A much bigger musical world opened up for him. “I have a really broad taste in music,” says Zuhoski. “I listen to everything from hip-hop to free jazz. I want to put a little bit of everything in the music. Some people have a one-track mind where if they are going to make a rock record, it’s going to be a ‘rock record.’ I’d rather make a folk record with space sounds in it.”

 

After years of home recordings and playing in bands, Zuhoski was discovered by Salim Nourallah at an open mic a few times before inviting him into the studio to record what would become Better Haze. “I used the opportunity to collaborate more. Especially because I was in a new environment and I didn’t know what Salim was expecting. If it came to a point where we needed some direction as to where to go, I’d show them a bass line I had written on an earlier version of the song and sometimes that would help. We recorded each song differently.”

 

With all the different sounds on the album, playing these songs with a live band has proven to be a peculiar challenge. “I’ve hired a keyboard player to play all of Nick’s parts, as they are very synthy.” While there is no current plan to tour yet, Zuhoski says, “I would be interested. I think we would be a pretty good cover band of this record.”

Better Haze will be released later this year on Palo Santo Records.

 

News

The future of influencer marketing

Recently Sneak Attack prez Marni Wandner spoke at the Music Ally Sandbox Summit conference in New York. The conference brought music industry leaders, together to discuss the future of digital music marketing. One of the main themes of the conference was the rise in influencer marketing. Viral Nation co-founder Joe Gagliese described influencer marketing as “It’s like hiring your best…

Read more

Sandbox Summit 2018 | NYC #MarketMusicBetter

Learn how to market your music better. Music Ally presents Sandbox Summit NYC; a mix of presentations, panel discussion sessions, and top tips sessions from music industry leaders. On Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 Music Ally will be hosting Spotify, UMG, mTheory, and more at this single day conference. Join Sneak Attack founder Marni Wandner alongside some awesome folks from…

Read more

Drinking Data: Panel at SXSW

We’re pleased to present our panel at SXSW, Drinking Data: Principles of Human-Based Marketing on Friday March 16 at 5pm at the Austin Convention Center. Join Sneak Attack founder and president Marni Wandner, Jenni Sperandeo of Dangerbird Records, Aaron Ford of  The Orchard, and Graham Garner of Sphere Insight for their chat about how to make…

Read more

Speakeasy: Music + Tech Mixer in Austin

Join this year’s Austin edition Speakeasy: Music + Tech Mixer with Sneak Attack Media and special guests Music Ally, Lucky Hound Music, DISCO and Endless Riff.  We’re pleased to join FLOOD Magazine‘s FLOODfest again at Cedar Street Courtyard. Come grab a beer with some incredibly awesome folks in the music + music tech industries. More info and RSVP here

Read more

Free Artist Consultation for Indie Musicians!

Attention independent musicians located in NYC: our digital distribution friends at Tunecore will be hosting an Artist Consultation roundtable on March 1 in Brooklyn, and we’re super excited to be a part of it. Join Sneak Attack founder Marni Wandner alongside some phenomenal folks from Spotify, Chart Room Media , Momentum Worldwide and Audiomack for a great…

Read more

7 Little Ideas for How to Shake Up Your Socials

It’s pretty easy to get stuck on what to post on your socials, especially if you’re short on time (which…who isn’t these days?) Whether you’re a musician, a small business, a startup, a blog – we’ve put together a few ideas of how to breathe some new life into your online presence to have some…

Read more