As you may already know, alongside each Atlas EP, I am offering a limited-edition merch item. For the recently released “Light” EP I am pleased to announce a collaboration with an absolutely incredible nonprofit called Re:new.
Offered in 2 sizes, these bags were beautifully hand-made and custom designed in collaboration for this project, featuring the lyric “You Are Enough,” from my latest EP, “Light.”
Aside from being amazing and fashionable, these bags also carry a beautiful and important story…
Founded by our close friend, Rebecca Sandberg, Re:new exists to transform and invest in the lives of refugee women living in America. Every year, tens of thousands of refugees from all over the world fleeing war, persecution, or natural disaster are resettled in America. Re:new comes alongside refugee women in America, enabling them to thrive, by providing employment opportunity and relational community. Re:new Artisans enjoy fair wage employment creating one-of-a-kind handcrafted products in a creative and dignified workplace.
I’ve been so so so inspired over the years by the work of Re:new that I couldn’t be more excited to partner up with them to offer you this custom-made bag!!
With your purchase, you come alongside refugee women in America and empower them to support their families and experience hope. All proceeds benefit the work of Re:new!
Complimenting the “You Are Enough” Messenger bag (which is only avail on our site!), Re:new is offering a beautiful “You Are Enough” Zip Pouch, available on their site! The perfect accessory for your new messenger bag! OR a great gift for someone else!
In addition to their incredible bags, Re:new is also a great source for handmade home linens and many other totally beautiful products, including my personal fav, iPhone/iPad cases! Please take a moment to visit the Re:new website or in person at their flagship store in IL and learn more about the incredible work they’re doing, first-hand!
Thank you SO much for reading, and a HUGE thanks to Rebecca and the Re:new team for the wonderful work they are doing to make this world a better place!!
If you missed the last few songs of mine on this season of SYTYCD, check ‘em out here (click on the song titles to watch): “Turning Page“, “Clockwork (Piano Version)“, “Goes On and On” and be sure to tune in TONIGHT to hear “In The Embers“! 8/7c on FOX! I feel so grateful and blessed to be a part of this wonderful show!!
Summertime is here! I hope that it’s already been an amazing one for you! So far, so good over here – I just returned home from an incredible first-time visit to Paris and had the best time! Was there doing a little research for my upcoming EPs, as well as enjoying a bit of a Summer vacation. I’m back and already digging deep into the new songs for the remaining Atlas EPs, which is how I’ll be enjoying my Summer. SO excited about these songs and can’t wait to share soon!
Speaking of Atlas, thank you all SO much for such encouraging feedback on the new “Light” EP!! Means so much to me – such a reward to hear after spending so much time on these songs. Thanks to you, “Light” was featured on iTunes, Spotify, Paste Magazine, Myspace and even made it onto the Billboard Charts as a “Heatseeker”! Thank you so much for your support! So, so very honored.
Aside from wanting to say hello, I am writing today to let you know that in honor of 4th of July, we’re having a Summer Sale!! 20% OFF everything* in the online store, now through July 9th at 11:59PM CST! Sale includes: Yearbook, All Shirts, Vinyl, CDs, Onesies and more!
Shop here, then at checkout, enter the code: OOZMAKAPA
(Orders must total $20 or more. *Atlas is not a part of this sale, sorry!)
Thanks so much for reading!! I’ll be writing soon with more news/info about the next Atlas EPs – can’t wait to tell you all about ‘em!
Ryan – Sleeping At Last
P.S. here’s a list of things i love right now…
1. Monster’s University (the orig. is an all time fav film of mine, and this prequel is so fun, clever and fitting! hooray pixar!! note the MU inspired coupon code above!)
2. Nutella (umm.. how have i not had nutella ’til now? a recent discovery i made via crepes in paris. mmm)
3. C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy (long time lewis fan, just not starting the space trilogy – in love.)
4. Instagram Video (into it.)
…. OR click here to subscribe to all of “Atlas” and receive 28+ songs throughout 2013, incl. exclusive art for each song, early downloads and more!
“LIGHT” RELEASE NOTES:
With the previous EP, “Darkness,” I recommended listening to it for the first time with the lights off and your eyes closed, which is how I spent most of my time writing it. During the writing of “Light“, I was fortunate enough to spend time soaking up inspiration in Hawaii, the brightest place I know. So this time ’round, I recommend listening to “Light” on the sunniest day you can find. Whether that means through headphones on your AM jog, or in your car with the windows rolled down, or laying on the grass in your favorite park, or in the sand on your favorite beach, or even indoors with the windows open and birds singing along. Find brightness anywhere, and that’s where this EP should be heard.
I wrote “Darkness” and “Light” as two sides of the same record. Although released separately, they make up side-A and side-B of one full-length album. “Darkness” finishes with the song “Uneven Odds,” a rather sad story, written from the perspective of someone who becomes the legal guardian of a very young boy who recently lost his parents. I wanted to write a song that tackles the incredibly difficult task of explaining the heaviness and purpose of darkness to an innocent child. The “Light” EP begins with the title track, which was written as the second half of that same story. The song is written from the perspective of the little boy from “Uneven Odds,” who is now an adult and becoming a parent himself. He has been given the gift of being the first to introduce the brightness and beauty of light to his newborn.
This EP tackles as many interpretations of “light” as I could imagine: heaven, weightlessness, exposure, hope, new life, fireworks and even stories projected onto screens. I had an incredible time exploring the theme of light within these songs and am so privileged to finally share with you the results.
1. Light 2. You Are Enough 3. Heirloom 4. The Projectionist 5. In The Embers
ROSS CHRISTOPHER (played Violins and Cellos on “You Are Enough” and “The Projectionist”) – Ross is pal of mine who came out with me on tour last fall. He’s such a talented musician and as I was writing the strings for these two songs, I knew he’d be the guy to bring them to life! Couldn’t be more pleased with how it all turned out! Ross is a wonderful songwriter and artist – listen to and support his lovely work here!
DAVID HODGES (played Piano on “Heirloom”) – As this song was coming together, I kept hearing a particular kind of piano, played in a particular kind of way in my head, but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, when suddenly I realized, it was David playing on his upright piano that I was imagining. Truly one of the most gifted people I know and one of my very favorite humans on earth too! So thrilled with his gorgeous contribution to this song! Listen to and love David’s latest music here!
SETH RICHARDSON (played Upright Bass on “Heirloom”) – I’ve been wanting to have Seth as a guest for a while and finally the right song came along! Seth’s been a friend for a couple years now and I’ve admired his talent for a while – so thankful he was kind enough to lend me his gifts for this toe-tappin’ track! Listen to Seth’s amazing band, Moonsville Collective here!
KERA-LYNNE NEWMAN (played Fiddles on “Heirloom”) – This song was nearly finished when I decided “This song needs one more thing… fiddle.” I called up Kera, (who also joined me last fall on tour!) and she kindly obliged and shortly after sent me back the most lovely fiddle tracks I’ve ever heard! I’ve never featured this style of violin in my songs, and Kera was such a perfect fit! Fiddle was truly the missing piece of this song. Listen to Kera’s bands, Black Bonnet Ballyhoo & The Eskimo Girls.
DAN PERDUE (played Bass on “You Are Enough”) – As always, when a song comes along that warrants more than just a simple bass line, I call up my best pal, Dan, literally my favorite bassist of all time. As usual, he killed it. Very few people I know are masters of their instrument, and Dan is certainly one of the finest on the earth.
Thank you SO much for listening and for being a part of Atlas! I hope you enjoy this collection of songs!! I’m already hard at work on the next Atlas EP! (I’ll be announcing all of the remaining themes SOON… Can’t wait to share!)
I am SO thrilled to announce that my brand new 5-song EP, “Light” is available right NOW to all Atlas Passport holders!
If you’re a Passport holder, check your email – Your download is ready! If you’re not sure what I’m talking about and want to get each of my upcoming EPs (28+ songs in 2013!) earlier than the rest of the world, and get exclusive art by Geoff Benzing and more, visit here to learn more about my Atlas EP project and becoming a Passport holder! (All the cool kids are doing it)
OFFICIAL RELEASE DATE:
For those of you iTunes purists, the official release date for “Light” is June 11th! On that day it will be available everywhere digital music is sold! The iTunes Pre-Order should be up before the weekend! Keep an eye out!
California pals – I’m playing your lovely Los Angeles region twice THIS WEEK!! (I’ll have a full band, including a string trio with me!) – Hope to see you!!
That’s it for today, friends! SO SO SO excited for you to hear “Light” – I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it!!
Much Love, Ryan – Sleeping At Last
p.s. here’s a list of things i love right now…
1. Dots (the most addicting iphone game i’ve played in a long, long while. many precious hours, gone.)
2. By The Way (jeff garlin’s new podcast series where he just has conversations with cool people, ie. jj abrams, jeff tweedy, etc. absolutely love it.)
3. Ben & Jerry’s “Phish Food” Ice Cream (it not only proves God exists, but it proves that God loves us. yum.
4. New Arrested Development NOW (i was worried it wouldn’t be great, but i totally love this new season. totally)
Just got word that the solo piano version of my song “Clockwork” will be a part of tonight’s Season Premiere of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE on FOX! So excited to be a part of this lovely show again! Tune in tonight in just a few minutes (7pm CST!)
NEW VERSION OF “CLOCKWORK” AVAILABLE NOW!
The version they’re using is titled “Clockwork (Piano Version)” which is a solo piano/vocal version that was only released for a limited time a year ago. Pleased to announce that this version is NOW available on iTunes!!
It’s only been a week and there’s already bunch of stuff I’m excited to tell you about!
I’M GONNA BE (500 Miles) – COVER!
Chances are that these lyrics will ring a bell for most of you: “I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more.” Place the melody? It’s an incredibly popular song from the late eighties by The Proclaimers. Why am I talking to you about The Proclaimer’s song? Well, because I covered it and its available on iTunes right now! Hope you enjoy it.
My aforementioned cover of “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” will be featured on tonight’s (5/9) Grey’s Anatomy!!! SO thrilled to be a part of the show again, just one week after they featured my song “Uneven Odds“! Honored to say the least. Tune in tonight (thurs) 9/8c on ABC!
ATLAS CD BOX SETS NOW SHIPPING!
So excited to announce that the CD version of Atlas: Darkness (along with the fancy Atlas: Year One Box!) is now shipping! Become a “Passport Plus” Member now and receive 6 CDs (28+ new songs!), mailed to you periodically throughout 2013! It’s like the fruit-of-the-month-club, for Sleeping At Last music.
Psst… If you’re already a digital subscriber (Passport holder), check your inbox (spam folder too!) – We are sending out a special discount, if you’d like to upgrade your Passport!
That’s it for now! The “Light” EP is coming together – can’t wait to show you SOON!
Much Love, Ryan
Sleeping At Last
p.s. here’s a list of things i love right now:
1. blockbuster season (iron man 3, into darkness, man of steel, monsters university, gatsby, pacific rim and so many more. goodbye, money)
2. the giving keys (such a beautiful concept and product! learn more and support ‘em here!)
3. c.s. lewis (i don’t read neary as much as i’d like, but every time i crack open one of lewis’ books, i’m reminded of how much i adore the ideas and worlds he paints)
4. brene brown (maybe you’ve already seen one of her TED talks.. if not, do it right now. seriously…now.)
Atlas “Passport Plus” is HERE! The “Darkness” CD EP, along with the special Atlas Passport Plus Boxes have officially arrived and are now shipping!! Hooray!
For those of you unaware, a “Passport Plus” is a 6-CD (28+ songs!) subscription to my new project, Atlas. 6 CD’s will be mailed to you periodically throughout 2013, as each EP releases. Each EP will feature exclusive art prints by Geoff Benzing of each song in the project (28+ in total! Also featuring lyrics on the back of each card), along with high-quality CD jacket, full-color printed CD and a special linen-wrapped, gold-foil printed box to store each of the releases safely in!
Hey! Spring is totally happening right now… it’s so beautiful outside and that makes me super happy inside.
Excited to tell you about a few things!
GREY’S ANATOMY TONIGHT!
So pumped to announce that tonight’s (thurs) episode of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy will feature my song “Uneven Odds” from my recent Atlas EP “Darkness“! So so honored to be a part of the show again!! Hope you’ll tune in! Tonight, 8PM CST on ABC!
FREE SONG DOWNLOAD & PERFORMANCE!
Immediately following tonight’s Grey’s episode, the wonderful folks at ABC are giving away a FREE download of my song “Uneven Odds” for a limited time! AND while you’re there, check out the recent performance I did for ABC and Disney! Such a fun (and nerve-racking) experience!
California is truly one of my favorite places in the world and I just cannot wait to play and I hope to see you there! I’ll have a band with me, including a string trio! Hooray! Click here for more info!
More news coming your way soon! Thanks so much for reading!
PS here’s a list of things i love right now… (tv edition!)
1. New Season of Arrested Development (seriously may 26th cannot come soon enough! “hey, brother…”)
2. Mad Men (new season is great so far. been a fav show for a while now)
3. Parks & Rec (my goodness, what a lovely show. took a little while to get on board, but has since become an all time fav)
4. America in Primetime (4-part documentary about television that is incredible. watch. it.)
“hit or miss” is the middle track on the july ep (itunes) in the yearbook series.
i think i’ve proclaimed this before, but (unfortunately for those closest to me) i am a very impatient person. no matter how hard i try, i am just not a fan of waiting for things.
the opening lyric, “hurry, hurry up and wait” is the heart of this song. in the middle of yearbook, that concept was at constant play in my head. i would rush, rush, rush to meet the monthly deadlines and when i finally hit the finish line, as soon as each song left my hands, i’d have to do more waiting. so even though the whole idea of yearbook was born in the spirit of impatience, making the gap between writing, recording and releasing disappear, i was still impatient with the whole thing. so i wrote this song to remind me to cool it.
musically, a lot of this song’s shape and heart was written several years before this song became a song, in a hotel of all places. a while back i got a new keyboard, and as is tradition with each new instrument i buy, i write something and play around with recording it with no aim, aside from seeing what i’m capable of doing with this thing. so while on tour way back when, i spent an evening in my hotel room messing around with my new gadget. usually those try-out-my-new-toy recordings don’t turn into anything more than a bit of fun, but i always liked these particular little odd melodies. so i kept this song on the back burner until it made sense within one of my projects… yearbook felt like a perfect fit for this sort of exploration.
once i decided this piece of music belongs on this ep, i decided to approach this song without any specific intentions aside from having a lot of fun playing around further with it, keeping it in the spirit in which it was written. in most cases, i have a very clear picture of how i want a song to end up and exactly what i want it to say, so i really enjoyed a less pressured approach for this one.
musically, i liked the idea of taking some of those descending sparkly melodies and have different instruments take turns playing them. bells turn into wurlitzer turns into banjo, turns into several other types of keyboard sounds. instrument evolution of sorts.
lyrics… as i mentioned, are all about me venting my impatience, while pretending that i appreciate the importance of patience. (i do, of course… it’s a virtue after all, but just not my favorite one…) this song is obviously very much about time.
i liked the idea of expressing patience (and impatience) through a lot of common expressions, like:
“a watched kettle never boils, a watched tree never grows”
“hit or miss”
“may we reap all that we sow”
i’m not sure why, but i generally tend to like the use of idioms in songs. there’s a familiarity i suppose that i like when in contrast with (hopefully) new ideas. so for this song, i wanted to include as many as i can. it was a lot of fun to make those odd little connections.
“much too tired to try, much too stubborn to quit.”
that lyric always kicks me in the butt in the right way. i find myself feeling like that, often. a state of limbo. that lyric is a good reminder and overview of the ridiculousness of letting myself remain in that place.
on a visual level, i was really excited when this line came about…
“every cloud above’s full of splattered paint”
it has two meanings: on a totally surface level, i just liked the idea of there being clouds above us that are full of multicolored paint. and the actual meaning behind the line is probably obvious: rain is what gives our world life = color. when a line works on both levels, intent and surface visual, it makes me super happy. so i was grateful when that little line appeared.
overall, “hit or miss” was such a fun song to write! because of the less pressured approach and lyrically it’s a lot of me venting and discussing my obsession and struggle with patience, it was quite enjoyable to write.
total side note: as i mentioned in the “wilderness: how it was made” blog post, i aimed to make that song in the vein of some of my older material from my “ghosts” album… i aimed to make this song have some instrumentation similarities to music on my “keep no score” album, AND on the next song of this ep, “aperture” i built it similar to songs on my “storyboard” record (when i began writing and recording my ukulele) so there’s a fun little sleeping at last history concept at play on this july ep.
thanks for reading!
much love, ryan
click here to read other “how it was made” blog posts!
(why does that have the wrong artwork? no clue.)
HIT OR MISS
hurry, hurry up and wait is how the waiting game is played. a thousand moving parts keep score inside the watch we can’t ignore.
so let’s hurry, let’s hurry up and wait.
much too tired to try, much too stubborn to quit, on an island in between the coasts of hit or miss. are we settlers or are we natives of this land? only time will tell on which pedestal we were meant to stand.
so let’s hurry, let’s hurry up and wait. so let’s hurry, let’s hurry, hurry up and wait.
every cloud above’s full of splattered paint, every seed below lies patiently in wait. but a watched kettle never boils, a watched tree never grows. may we have our tea in the forest, may we reap all that we sow.
so let’s hurry, so let’s hurry, hurry up, hurry up and wait. so let’s hurry, hurry up, hurry up, hurry up and wait.