Exclusive Premiere: Sleeptalk’s Smile-Inducing “Indio, California”

Don’t be afraid of a little sunshine

The outstretched hand: It’s the universal symbol for help and support, from one person to another. Life is not always positive, and though we pass down happily-ending stories from one generation to the next, the real is neither fair nor easy. That’s why we have music and games, jokes and playgrounds and so much more: They serve as counterbalance to the madness of the world. Most importantly, we have each other: Family and friends who can pick you up when you’re down, knowing you would do the same for them if the situation were reversed.

Indie pop band Sleeptalk’s return is the musical manifestation of the outstretched hand: “Indio, California” captures the grief of seeing a loved one in pain as well as the empathetic desire to help that loved one feel whole again.

‘Cause I know saying,
“fuck everything n run” is a hard act to follow
don’t be afraid of a little sunshine
And you don’t know saying,
“fuck everything n’ run” is a hard act to follow
don’t be afraid of a little sunshine
Watch: “Indio, California” – Sleeptalk 

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Indio, California,” the lead single and music video off Sleeptalk’s forthcoming debut album (via Gold Standard/Artery Recordings). With two EPs under their belt, the Los Angeles quintet of Anthony Fitzpatrick, Jason Fitzpatrick, Justin Melchor, Paul McGill, Jacques Harmandjian seem to have finally found their sound: On “Indio,” listeners can hear the restlessness of the band’s garage-y Pure EP mixing with the experimental synths and dreamy soundscapes of the Young EP.

“Indio, California” is a song with real purpose. There’s something indescribably special about creating music embedded with so much meaning; that lyrical and instrumental sincerity pushes a song over the edge, making it not only a catchy number you want to visit again and again, but an intimate, emotion-filled moment you want to relive and remember. According to vocalist Anthony Fitzpatrick, “‘Indio, California’ is a love song.”

Sleeptalk © Brandon Wolford
Sleeptalk © Brandon Wolford

“The song is based off experiences at the Coachella Music Festival. Every year myself and a large group of friends gather together and camp out at the festival. When you step onto those Polo fields you instantly gain this positive, beautiful energy, It feels like that is the only place in the world. ‘Indio, California’ is about those experiences… The type of experiences everyone longs for.”

The red light / The spot lights 
Are the path to our very first night
We’re falling in and out of our minds
just to feel alive
Cause we both know that tomorrow 
It seems like a fucking fight 
With our eyes wide those spot lights have never been
So alive, feel my beating heart one last time
And I can’t take my eyes off the waving lights

We all need something to believe in; an anchor to turn to when times are tough. Fitzpatrick infused “Indio, California” with his own anchor, creating a cathartic, vibrant song full of warmth and humanity. In writing so reflectively and honestly, his personal words are universally relatable: We all have memories that we, too, can dive into for a smile, as well as a new, fantastically special song from Sleeptalk.

Because life isn’t always positive and beautiful; in fact, most of the time life is quite dull. We live for the moments, and for most of us, they are few and far between. “The chorus of this song is written about about not being afraid to express yourself and to always know there is light at the end of the tunnel,” explains Fitzpatrick.

‘Cause I know saying, “fuck everything n run” is a hard act to follow.

The “Sleeptalk” music video perfectly encapsulates the anxieties buried in the song – that unbearable need to break out. Fitzpatrick and a female companion are shown together in a small, seemingly abandoned building in a desert. They are together, yet they are distant: Always looking away from each other, she with her head out the window, longing for something that isn’t here, he looking at his (or her) feet, unable to produce the words he wants to say.

Sleeptalk "Indio, California" still

Sleeptalk "Indio, California" still

The tension is palpable as the song progresses; we see a group of guys (presumably the full band) walking around outside in the desert, a direct contrast to the lead characters’ seemingly trapped state. They are trapped inside that rickety structure, unable to find themselves – t0 find the strength to venture out together.

Fitzpatrick sings to his companion, trying to create for her what his song means for him. However, one of the toughest lessons an individual can face is learning that we cannot always be another person’s hero or savior: We must fight our own battles. Aware of this, Fitzpatrick isn’t trying to embody positivity; rather, his help comes in the form of trying to find that which will lift her spirits up.

Sleeptalk "Indio, California" still

Sleeptalk "Indio, California" still

Sleeptalk "Indio, California" still

“At the end of the video you see the girl smile and then stand under the graffiti wall that says “LOVE”. Throughout the video the girl is seeing there is always a new light,” describes Fitzpatrick. It may take the better part of three minutes, but Sleeptalk are eventually able to get a smile out of her – as they do to all of us, as well.

Allow yourself to fall under Sleeptalk’s spell: “Indio, California” is genuine and heartfelt, as persuasive as it is relatable in giving us something to believe in. Look out for more blissful “indie pop” from Sleeptalk in the year to come: The band’s forthcoming debut album is slated for a 2017 release, and will surely show us the many sides of Fitzpatrick and co. Until then, let “Indio, California” help you find your happy place via Atwood Magazine’s exclusive stream.

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cover: Sleeptalk © Brandon Wolford

:: Listen to More from Sleeptalk ::

:: Watch: “Indio, California” – Sleeptalk ::

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