It’s been four years since Sleep Out released its sophomore album, Not Even Dust— an ode penned by songwriter Quinn Goodwillie to Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery. The album’s macabre subject matter intrinsically connected with Sleep Out’s-brand of dream pop, leading Sound Opinion’s Jim DeRogatis to call Not Even Dust “one of the strongest indie-pop discs to emerge from the underground music scene in the new millennium.”
As it is, Not Even Dust is a fall album, but their follow up—which emerges about 49 full moons later—is summer personified. Black Cat Found is warm and breezy, like a June night driving around the city; everything sounds better with the windows down. The airiness of Black Cat Found, is not surprising: In the time between recording the two albums, one baby was born, three members got married and two babies are due at the end of the summer. Goodwillie says, “I think overall, that crazy amount of good fortune and happiness has made this a much more upbeat and optimistic album than Not Even Dust.”
This is shoegaze, looking in the opposite direction.
“Hammers and Veils” sounds like lost Darklands-era Jesus and Mary Chain—fitting, as that’s when the latter band also followed up the sullen with the more “sunny”—and the album’s standout single, “Ether Ore,” is a lush and loud head-rocker, while instrumental “1000” emerges like a dawn on that early summer day, segueing into the album’s final six minutes with the ethereal slowburn, “Leelanau.”
For the return of Sleep Out, the band teamed up with producer and Badman Recording Co label owner Dylan Magierek (Mark Kozelek, Starf*cker) at Type Foundry studios in Portland, OR. Returning to Chicago, the band continued the recording process with producer Mike Lust (Tight Phantomz, William Elliot Whitmore) at Phantom Manor Studios, completing 5 of the album’s tracks which included enhancing songs that Goodwillie had recorded in his home studio.