MOTM 2014 Artist Preview: Sleepy Kitty

In our countdown to the 2014 Middle of the Map Fest (April 3-5), we’ve decided to preview several of the artists for our loyal readers. First up is a MOTM veteran, St. Louis based indie/garage rock band Sleepy Kitty. This year marks their third appearance at MOTM and they’ve become somewhat of a local favorite since they first played the festival in 2012.

This two-piece was initially conceived in Chicago when singer/guitarist Paige Brubeck met drummer Evan Sult. Soon after a mix of catchy garage rock and 90s alternative was born, and the group decided to relocate to St Louis to continue playing music and open up their own print studio. Today, they continue to screen print concert posters as a supplement to their burgeoning music career.

Their sound encompasses a wide array of vintage pop and garage rock, but Brubeck’s guitar work and songwriting seems just as much inspired by slacker-rock heroes Pavement. However, you could just as easily describe the band as a pop antidote to the White Stripes, albeit in a reverse form (Sult holds down the drum throne ala Meg White in more ways than one).

Ultimately, Brubeck takes the star turn in these non-LOL Kitties with her girl-group-meets-Riot-Grrrl vocals and her photogenic looks. Don’t let that discredit her chops on the guitar (check out her solo on the Beatles mashup “Seventeen“) or her prowess at using a loop-station live. Sults’ ability to hold down the backbeat with tasteful accents is second to none and shouldn’t be overlooked either.

If you’re looking for a garage band with some varying influences and a broader appreciation of angsty-alternative rock and pop, this is the act you need to see at MOTM. They put on a great live show, highlighted by Brubeck’s ability to create looped sounds and a larger presence than you might anticipate from a garage-duo. Currently, they’re working on a follow up to 2011′s Infinity City LP (Euclid Records) that should be every bit as engaging as its predecessor.

(Note: I had the pleasure of not only seeing Sleepy Kitty in 2012, but also interviewing them in my prior capacity as a writer for Check out what Evan and Paige had to say about the humble beginnings of the festival and the band’s first experiences in KC here.)

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