Video Premiere: Sleepy Jean, “Smaller”

For the better of a decade now, Canadian bluegrass-folk artist Sleepy Jean has been found showcasing her smoky vocals and whimsical instrumentals.  Set for release in July this year, Sleepy Jean’s first recorded effort Idle Hands is set to bring everyone her unique perspective and showcase her stunning vision.

Today, Sleep Jean has dropped the video for the single “Smaller.”  “I’m a big fan/terrible keeper of the little cactus that lives on my bookshelf. Despite the lack of light he receives in my basement apartment, he’s survived having me as his parent for a few years now. I’ve often sat staring at him and wondering how he feels being surrounded by books + trinkets so much bigger than he is… and what kind of shenanigans he might get up to when I’m not looking. I was lucky to work alongside animator/illustrator Sara Sarhangpour (who brought my silly little idea to life), and cinematographer Andrew Beech (who captured the gorgeous footage of my bookshelf).”

Idle Hands began as an exercise in self-soothing. The dawning of 2020’s Great Slowdown saw Jean watch her regular hustle and bustle as a working musician (playing over 250 dates a year!) disappear within the wink of an eye. In her effort to avoid the realities of global catastrophe, Sleepy turned inwards and spent the majority of her time dreaming up songs that felt comforting yet addressed the anxieties and idiosyncrasies that peppered her newly empty days.

Sleepy partnered with longtime collaborator Dan Serre (Cat Clyde, Shitbats) to record and mix the majority of the 7-song extended play over the course of 2 months within the confines of a spare bedroom. Russ Donohue (Stonehouse Studios) aided in additional mixing, and mastering was completed by Kristian Montano (Montano Mastering) in Toronto, ON. Drums and vibraphone were provided by Marshall Bureau (Great Lake Swimmers, Jill Barber), with additional playing from Kaelin Murphy (trumpet), Phil Bosley (upright bass) and Al Aguilar (synthesizers). A long play is expected to follow in early 2022.

Photo Courtesy: Lauren Garbutt