“I’m falling out / Losing touch / On to something / Less familiar.”
For those who’ve ever packed it up and tried to make a new life in a new place only to find out it’s not so easy, these chorus lyrics ring true in the vibrant new single, “Ferdy,” from indie pop-rockers Sleeping Jesus.
“Ferdy” – which officially dropped today September 11th – bursts at the seams with buoyant summertime energy from the jump (yes, it’s still technically summer), as the driving percussive groove is quickly greeted by bright shimmering synths and accentuating electric guitar.
The track encompasses ideations of chasing the American Dream, and doing what’s necessary to achieve it, even if that means kicking pride and integrity aside. More specific to the band, it pertains to being a Midwest artist, and the prospect of taking to the highways to either the beaches of California, or the boroughs of New York City to pursue their dreams of “making it.”
“The first verse is about youth and being free,” says lead singer and guitarist Nick Elstad. “And the second verse is inspired by a country singer-songwriter friend of ours who moved from New York to LA. He had been building himself up in New York for awhile, then made a change, and had to try to fully immerse himself into a new and challenging scene. For a Midwesterner, you always have this ideal version of LA or NY that it will change something for you. But he still believed in trying to create something out west, and fulfilling that all too common dream.”
This as evidenced in the lyrics, “Dead ass dreams over Coca-Cola / Head out east where no one knows ya / LA sure beat the shit outta you / Tryna make a living playing country tunes.”
The feel-good indie pop vibes hit quick and fierce, and what better way to accompany such a magnetic sound than a comically can’t-look-away music video to match- but you’ll have to mark your calendars for that, as it will be released next Monday, September 18th.
In the meantime, do enjoy the teaser below.
After basking in the comedic thrill of the “Ferdy” music video, it’s clear that humor and having fun is paramount for Sleeping Jesus, which is debatably the most likable aspect of any band.
When asked how important those facets are, Elstad told us, “It’s one of the most important things. It’s probably one of the main reasons we’re still a group. It can be difficult to go on the road and potentially lose money and sometimes have bad shows, but we’re also happy to be having these experiences together. There’s a lot of love as a band, and a lot of respect for each other. It’s turned into a beautiful friendship, and I don’t think the band would go on if anybody left.”
The band name origin is indicative of their good time havin’ nature, and is actually credited to Elstad’s grandma, who owns a restaurant in Winona, MN, and would dub lazy and/or stoned workers as “Sleeping Jesuses.”
And with that, the band name was born.
In December 2022 before Christmas, the band booked a studio called The Magic Barn in Iowa to record. It’s an eclectic not-for-profit establishment run by an eclectic dude named Steve, and was the perfect fit for the band. The studio is loaded with vintage analog gear from what was The Magic Shop in NYC that holds some serious mojo, including the piano from Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, which is featured on “Ferdy.”
“We went down to Iowa and spent the week there, and just made the best thing we could,” Elstad says. “I’m all for it if people want to go to the coast or whatever and do cool shit, but it’s fun to be in the Midwest and make art here, because that’s important too.” The result is a catchy, resonating ode to exploring The Great Unknown and rolling with the punches.
Formed by Elstad in his hometown of Winona, Sleeping Jesus hit the scene in 2016, and features Elstad, Tyler Steinley (drums), Andy Bauer (bass), Seamus St. Clair (lead guitar), and Dante DeGrazia (keys).
“Ferdy” is the lead single to their second studio album, Hollywood Smile, which is due this November. The album will follow their acclaimed debut album, Leave the Party Early.