To the tune of a dream, a new album by a sleep-deprived junior dropped onto the indie music scene last week.
For 21-year-old Andrew Bandos, a lack of sleep was the creative stimulus for his most recent musical project, “Heads Phased for Dreamless Sleep” – a full length album featuring 11 insomnia-inspired songs.
Originally recorded late at night by Andrew Bandos in his dorm room, he eventually collaborated with fellow student musicians, adding more instruments, including drums, guitars and effects. The project morphed the one-time solo piece into what Bandos described as a much louder live sound.
The tracks were released to iTunes Nov. 8.
Bandos signed with Mush Records in February, and in the following months he was constantly recording, writing and rarely sleeping.
Is And Of The is Bandos' collaboration with band members Alex Ocko, Bryan Antell and Tom Anthony – students from Drexel University and University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
The group spent most of the summer recording over the demos, playing sweaty basement shows and promoting the impending album’s release.
Bandos’ lyrics are personal, each encompassing midnight confessions. Tracks include the mellow intro song, “This Is A Strange Repose,” later followed by the faster-paced electronic dream-like song, “Sleepless Dream,” along with “I Used to Swim In Seas Outside of Me,” a sedate, softer track.
“Each song is the equivalent of a journal entry for me, because when I hear it I know exactly how I felt at the time,” Bandos said.
His music has a raw, revealing feel to it, heavy on vibrations and light on lyrics, which flow effortlessly through steady, well-timed beats.
“I sent the demos I recorded on my computer to the label, and they didn’t want to change anything; they put it out exactly as it is,” Bandos said.
What was supposed to be his solo album has become what he calls a “solo-ish project,” supplemented by the collaboration of other musicians.
“I realized that I couldn’t call it a solo project anymore…I write most of the songs, but they take it to a whole new level,” Bandos said.
Branching out from basement shows, Is And Of The opened for The Album Leaf a few weeks ago at the Rock & Roll Hotel.
“The crowds are hit or miss. Most of the time they really like it, maybe because they’re drunk,” Bandos said.
The band is trying to work around their school schedules and play more shows this year.
“We are trying to do some kind of tour this summer if we can hop onto someone else’s,” he said.
Bandos still hasn’t adjusted to a normal sleep pattern, but that might be a blessing in disguise for his music.
“One of the songs on ‘Handpainted Glow’ is this eight minute song I recorded on my parent’s deck this summer,” Bandos said. “I just sat down and was noodling around on my guitar for about two hours, and I recorded the whole thing.”
This article was updated on Nov. 16, 2011 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that Andrew Bandos was 20 years old. In fact, the junior is 21 years old. Also, The Hatchet erroneously reported that Bandos' new album was titled "Head Phased for Dreamless Sleep," it is correctly titled "Heads Phased for Dreamless Sleep." It was also misreported that "Handpainted Glow" was a new album.