thought i’d take a moment to update you on the next “atlas” ep i’ve been working on! as you may already know, it is called “light.” it’s been coming together quite nicely so far! a lot of work ahead of me, but i can feel the whole of it start to take shape these last few days. always an exciting point of a project – when it actually, tangibly resembles the original idea you set out to create.
i don’t believe i’ve mentioned this before, but i am approaching the “darkness” ep and the “light” ep as a full-length of sorts. though each half will be released separately, i very much set out to make these concepts 2 “sides” of the same record, if you will. so as i wrote “darkness” and as i currently write “light” there is an intentionality to make them compliment and contrast one another, as real light and darkness do. so i’ve been having a lot of fun with that!
i’ve mentioned before, but i’ve got about 3 years of atlas themes already mapped out and in sequence. so atlas as a whole will also tell a large, overarching story. i’ve chosen to unveil each title/theme as the project moves forward. super excited for all that’s to come!
for “light,” i can’t say much, but i can tell you a couple song titles that will appear on the ep:
“You Are Enough” and “Heirloom”
since “light” is the theme, you can expect some songs to have a happier, more joyful and upbeat feeling. others interpret light more seriously, but hope is big thread throughout.
as far as tangible progress news… geoff benzing has already sent over the painting for “you are enough” and it’s so beautiful, as always! perfectly fits the heart of the song. he’s already hard at work on the art for “heirloom” too. musically, “you are enough” is entirely finished tracking and is now being mixed by the incredible john goodmanson in seattle. “heirloom” is a couple lines of lyrics away from being completed. the instruments and recording still have some ways to go before this one gets shipped out to mixing, but it’s on the fast track right now and coming along great! it’s the first song i’ve ever written on mandolin! excited about that. another song, which i have yet to name is in great shape as well. the recording and arrangement is pretty well developed, but i’m still working on lyrics and vocal melodies for that one. the remaining 2 songs still need to be pulled into the “light”… (see what i did there?…) i have a few ideas for those songs, but their turn to be worked on has not yet arrived.
all in all, i’d say i’m a little short of the half-way mark on “light” – but i cannot wait for you to hear it! ii have a feeling march is going to be an inspired month, so i’m looking forward to pouring all of that into this ep.
1. new phoenix single “entertainment” (having been a phoenix fan for the past decade, it’s always a good day when they put out new music. somehow this new song sounds so phoenix, but also has something quite new about it)
2. plants vs zombies (i’m a late bloomer. this app has been all the rage for a while… it’s free right now on itunes and i’m way into it)
3. oscars (have always been a sucker for the oscars. prediction? i think “argo” for best picture. but wouldn’t be surprised if “silver linings playbook” wins either… loved both.)
4. kindness (it’s not technically a “thing,” but gosh, i sure do love when kindness finds a way to the surface of this world of rough edges)
5. soulpancake (rainn wilson’s channel on youtube. it’s a beautiful and encouraging thing. it’s no surprise that it’s the internet home of kid president too! poke around on the site. i dare you to not be moved, inspired, not to smile, laugh or be brought to tears at least a little.)
Happy Valentine’s Day!!! I hope, however you spend today, that it is full of love and kindness!
Just a quick note here to let you know about a about a few things! Including ideas for the late, but thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift-giver…
YEARBOOK ON SALE! (iTUNES)
Pleased to tell you that as of right now, the entire 36-song Yearbook Collection is on sale for only $14.99 (reg. $27.99) on iTunes!! Sale ends in 1 week. Gift it to your special someone, or just someone you think is super cool… OR gift it to yourself for being super cool.
Excited to announce that the very 1st pressing of my 2009 album, “Storyboards” is now in stock and shipping!! Order yours here!
ATLAS – PASSPORT
One more last-minute gift idea- My brand-new project, “Atlas“! 28+ songs throughout 2013. Available in both digital and physical (CD) subscriptions! The first EP “Darkness” is available now! Learn more here.
Alright, enough of all of that merch talk. Hope your Valentine’s Day is wonderful!!! Can’t wait for you to hear my next EP “Light“!
So excited for you to finally hear it! This may be a bit silly, but I recommend listening to “Darkness” for the first time with the lights turned off and your eyes closed. I spent a great deal of time in that environment while writing and recording these songs, so that’s how I recommend listening to ‘em. But don’t worry, these songs will still play with the lights on!
JEREMY LARSON (played and arranged Strings and Brass for “Uneven Odds“) – Jeremy’s one of the most talented folks I know. He also happens to be one of my favorite people! Honored to work with Jeremy again and couldn’t be more thrilled with how beautifully his performances turned out! I should note that this is the very first song of mine featuring Brass instrumentation!
JASON TOTH (played Drums on “Overture“) – Jason’s been a friend of mine for well over a decade now and just over the last few years, I’ve had the privilege of touring and recording with him quite a bit! He’s one of the most tasteful and gifted drummers out there and I just love working with him.
DAN PERDUE(played Bass on “Uneven Odds“) – As this song was coming together, I knew right away that Dan’s bass playing would pull the whole song together (much like “the dude”‘s rug in the big lebowski). Always love working with Dan!
Like all things, Atlas begins with Darkness. The meanings behind the word “Darkness” are endless: beginnings, fear, blindness, the unknown, loss, even hope, and so much more. On this EP, I aimed to explore as much of Darkness as possible, both musically and lyrically. Though there are a lot of heavy and perhaps “dark” ideas being shared here (don’t worry, there’s hope in there too!), I truly had such a wonderful time writing these songs and telling these stories. I can’t even begin to tell you how honored I am to have the opportunity to share them all with you.
I so hope you enjoy these songs! I’m already hard at work on the next Atlas EP, “Light.”
PS… If you haven’t already been introduced, meet the awesome that is Mr. Kid President. he’s amazing!! You may have seen him recently, as his latest video “Pep Talk” is spreading across the land like wildfire (nearing 3 Million Views as I type this!)! It just so happens that the fine folks at the Kid White House have my song “Households” (itunes) as the backdrop to this wonderful video! Couldn’t be more honored and thrilled to be a part! It’s such a wonderful and uplifting video, as are all of the Kid Presidentvideos.. so if you haven’t seen it, check. it. out! Tell your friends too… It’s pretty much guaranteed that whomever watches this will immediately have a better day.
i welcome you to the awesome that is mr. kid president. he’s amazing!! you may have been introduced to him recently, as his latest video “pep talk” has spread across the land like wildfire (17 million views and counting!)! it’s such a wonderful and uplifting video, as are all of the kid president videos.. so if you haven’t seen it, check. it. out! and tell your friends too… it’s pretty much guaranteed that whomever watches KP’s videos, their day will immediately become brighter. so show your pals!
it just so happens that the fine folks at the kid-white house have my song “households” (itunes) as the backdrop to this wonderful video! couldn’t be more honored and thrilled to be a part!
thanks, kid president!!!
UPDATE: 4/4/13: This morning, the incredible (and now a household name) Kid President posted a video from his time visiting the Obama family at the real White House! So fun! President Obama (aka Adult President) gives KP a tour around the Oval Office. It just so happens you might hear some familiar music on this lovely video too! Check it out and keep your ears peeled! (I think only eyes can be “peeled” but you get the idea…) the song is “Next To Me” (iTunes)
much love, ryan – sleeping at last
p.s. here’s a “thank you” video team KP made for me… one of my favorite things ever.
It is my absolute honor to announce that my new project, “Atlas” has begun!!
The very first Atlas EP, “Darkness” (5 songs!) is available to download RIGHT NOW exclusively for all Atlas Passport Holders!! The official release date for Darkness is Tues., January 29th (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) but Atlas Passport Holders receive early access and can grab Darkness now, along with the Passport-Exclusive Digital Booklet featuring lyrics, liner notes and 5 brand-new paintings by Geoff Benzing inspired by each of the 5 Darkness songs.
Learn more about Atlas and becoming an Atlas Passport Holderhere!
SO excited for you to hear this first EP and so hope you enjoy it!!
I am so thrilled to announce my brand-new project…
Atlas is an ongoing series of EPs inspired by the origins, emergence and experiences of life.
Unlike my previous EP series, “Yearbook,” Atlas has no end date in mind- it’s an ongoing project that I have thematically mapped out over the next few years. (Read a more detailed description of the concept here!) Each year will feature a determined amount of songs/EPs. This first Atlas year, 2013, will feature 28+ brand-new songs, spanning over 6 EPs!
FIRST EP AVAILABLE NOW!
The first EP (5 songs) is called “Darkness” and is available now! Click the following retailer links to buy now: iTunes, Amazon MP3, Google play and just about anywhere else digital music is sold!
The second EP, “Light” will release a couple months later. The remaining EPs will release periodically throughout 2013.
Listeners have a choice to either purchase the Atlas Digital EPs individually as they release or to subscribe to the first year of the project. These subscriptions are lovingly called “Passports.” There are two Passport options available for Pre-Order now (featuring special Passport-Only perks!!):
PASSPORTis a One-Year Digital Subscription that includes:
• 28+ songs on 6 Digital EPs (released periodically throughout 2013)
• 28+ exclusive paintings by Geoff Benzing (one for each song!) in the form of 6 Digital Booklets w/lyrics and liner notes. (Passport Exclusive!!)
• Early Downloads of each EP! (approx. 1-2 weeks before anyone else!)
• Friendly email reminder each time an EP is ready for Download
For folks that love physical, holdable things:
PASSPORT+ PLUSis a One-Year Physical (CD) and Digital Subscription that includes:
• Digital “Passport” Subscription (includes ALL perks above!)
• 28+ songs on 6 CD EPs (each CD shipped to you shortly after each EP’s respective Digital release!)
• High-quality packaging for each EP, plus a Deluxe Box to house all 6 EPs/Art (Box ships w/ first EP!)
• 28+ high-quality Art Cards feat. Geoff Benzing’s exclusive paintings to add to Deluxe Box (lyrics printed on back of each Art Card!)
• ”Passport+” Holder Special Perks (exclusive discounts, content and lots more!)
Holiday Shopping?? Atlas Passports make for a unique gift that will keep giving all year long!
for no reason other than i love movies and making lists, i’ve compiled my top 10 very favorite movies of 2012! i can’t know for sure, but i feel like i saw more movies this year than any other year of my life so far. not sure if i should be proud or embarrassed of that, but i sure do love movies.
anyway, in no particular order:
1. silver linings playbook – i loved the heart of this movie. for me it has just the right balance of comedy, beauty and heartache.
2. wreck-it ralph – such a sweet and clever story… and as a video game enthusiast growing up (… and still) it was so fun to see so many old game cameos. absolutely loved this.
3. moonrise kingdom – if i was pressed, i might call this my favorite film of 2012. i love wes anderson… and i’ve read a lot of comments about this being almost “too wes anderson” but for me, it was the most sincere and beautiful of all of his incredible filmography. a darn near perfect picture in my book.
4. sleepwalk with me – simple, funny and just i loved it.
5. headhunters – this movie isn’t probably for everyone, as it’s intensely violent, but i was on the edge of my seat the entire film.. rare to have a story this surprising and well executed.
6. django unchained – speaking of violent films… here’s another. perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s my favorite tarantino film to date. worth mentioning that christoph waltz is absolute genius here.. always is, but this role… perfection.
7. ruby sparks – far exceeded my expectations.. really beautiful and sweet.
8. chronicle – this was such a pleasant surprise… the “found footage” films are generally always fun, but i thought this one was so well done and surprising.
9. the intouchable – one of the most beautiful films i’ve seen in some time. touching and just so well done on every level. see it!
10. argo – this movie is so balanced in every way. this, the town and gone baby gone… mr. affleck is quite a director – 3 for 3!
very honorable mentions:
dark knight rises, this is 40, skyfall, the hobbit, life of pi, friends with kids, looper… enjoyed ‘em all quite a lot as well!
I can’t believe today is the last day of 2012! What a year. I sincerely hope that your 2012 was incredible, but I hope 2013 will be even more amazing for you and yours!
2012 was a crazy and excellent year for Sleeping At Last… If montages were possible in email, I’d be all over that. But let’s do a text montage instead…
2012 Sleeping At Last Highlights:
Went on 2 wonderful US tours (Huge thanks to Christina Perri & Jars of Clay for having me out!), Got to collaborate with one of my favorite folks in the world, Jon Foreman on his upcoming solo record, Got to co-write some songs with some of my dearest and most talented pals (David Hodges, Matt Hales, Mariah McManus, Mia Maestro and Angie Correa!), Had a few songs in a few TV Shows/Movie (Grey’s Anatomy, So You Think You Can Dance, Bones, Fun Size!), Got to score 20 minutes of instrumental music for a NYC charity festival (feat. Foo Fighters, Neil Young, Black Keys!) called “Global Festival,” and lastly, but not leastly, I Announced my upcoming project, “Atlas” – an ongoing series of EPs starting in January 2013!!
I’m so grateful for such a wonderful and encouraging year! And I couldn’t be more thrilled to dive into the new year with “Atlas” – cannot wait for you to hear these new songs!!
Oh and we JUST began Pre-Orders for my 2009 album, “Storyboards” on VINYL for the first time ever!! Pre-order the first pressing here and save $2. (Ships Feb!)
Thank you SO much for such an incredible year, guys. I am so blessed to be able to do this. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, for listening, for encouraging and for supporting me in so many ways throughout the years.
Happy New Year!! Farewell 2012! How lovely to meet you, 2013!
1. Root Beer (it’s my thing these days, as it turns out…)
2. Re:new Project (order lots of things from here! DO it. it will make life a little better!)
3. Blackberry Market (if you live in IL, go to here. it’s delicious! glen ellyn, IL!)
4. Downton Abbey (team bates! season 3 can’t come soon enough..)
5. The New Year (beautiful and symbolic… it’s a do-over. let’s start from scratch! may 2013 be the finest year yet.)