Sleepers Union, The Onedin Line, Glamours

Thu Sep 1st, 2016
The Wine Cellar,

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Musical chameleon Simon MacLaren is known to music lovers perhaps from Love’s Ugly Children, or from The Subliminals, or Psychic Maps, or Sleepers Union – and possibly for all of the above. And despite the stylistic differences between each act, his ability to pen great songs shines through in all of them.
Maclaren has reunited with writing partner Mark Anderson, and they present for your listening pleasure the first Sleepers Union album in 13 years, ‘Machines of Love and Grace’.
Prior to Sleepers Union, Maclaren was guitarist and singer in Love’s Ugly Children and The Subliminals (both on Flying Nun); whilst Anderson was bass player in Dave Mulcahy’s post-Superette band Spider (along with Big Ross - Birds Nest Roys, The Tufnels). Simon and Mark met at a party in Auckland around 2000 and bonded over a shared love of psych pop bands of the time such as Guided by Voices and Flaming Lips, and began working together on the songs that would form the first Sleepers Union album ‘Giant Spheres’ (released in 2003 on Turbine records). Although popular and critically-acclaimed, Sleepers Union dissolved when Simon moved to Dunedin and Mark moved to the UK. During their time apart, Simon formed the Dunedin-based noise band Psychic Maps and Mark played in Auckland post-punk band The Brood before forming The Onedin Line.
On one of Simon’s trips to Auckland they decided to record a new album - the concept being to write songs separately and then come together to record as quickly as possible, so the songs would sound fresh, not overthought. Within ten days the songs were workshopped, practised and recorded live as a 3-piece at UFO studios in New Lynn, with Simon on guitar, Mark on bass and Nicholas Clarke (Figure 60, The Onedin Line) on drums. The fourth SU member Francis Hunt (Stereobus) - who had played and toured with the first incarnation of Sleepers Union - then added guitar and vocal overdubs; and Chris Hazlewood (King Loser, Cash Guitar) guested on three tracks. One track (Satellite) that never made it to ‘Giant Spheres’ was also included; and ‘Machines of Love and Grace’ was mixed and mastered by a variety of talented friends.
The in-hose motto during recording, whenever anyone was trying to polish a song too much, was “it’s not the Taj Mahal”. Sleepers Union wanted to capture the sound of songs in their first pure blush, to embrace the mistakes, and allow the songs to take the lead.
The video to first single “Magic Hour” is viewable now.
‘Machines of Love and Grace’ is available on Powertool Records – listen and purchase through Bandcamp, Flying Out, and record stores who are purveyors of good music.
Sleepers Union will be playing 2 Auckland shows in early September.

Thursday September 1st – The Wine Cellar, Karangahape Road
Saturday September 3rd – UFO, New Lynn

For more information, or review copies, please contact Renee Jones:

alternative, pop, rock, Sleepers Union, The Onedin Line, Glamours

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