Vancouver’s Sleepy Gonzales – composed of brothers Cristian and Beni Hobson-Dimas, vocalist Ally Lowry, and bassist Nick Moniz – announce their new EP, Mercy Kill, out June 23rd on Light Organ Records, and present lead singles “Skylight” b/w “Freaking Out.” Sleepy Gonzales draw their musical stylings from chilled-out, creeping shoegaze — but their love for breaking out of the generic constraints might wake fans from their slumber with high-octane moments of punk. The gentle murmurs of “Skylight” demonstrate their mastery of the former and the ripping “Freaking Out” nails the latter. The accompanying “Skylight” video features footage of Ally, and was shot around the band’s homebase. "‘Skylight’ embodies light in a dark world and ‘Freaking Out’ is the evil inside us demanding validation,” says the band. “Maybe they balance each other out, or maybe one eventually destroys the other. That depends on you."
Originating from Surrey, British Columbia, Cristian and Beni met Ally in elementary school – Ally says she was drawn to their colorful hair – and added Nick to their basement jam sessions later on. After being given a “one-gig trial insurance policy,” Nick has been in the family ever since. More inclined to mention School of Rock and the singing video game SingStar than other musicians when asked about their inspirations behind taking up the artistic mantle, the band’s easygoing personalities extend to both their musical output and an online presence often brimming with absurdist humor.
Coming off of their last projects — 2021’s NEW YORK SLUDGE and 2022’s Slower Apocalypse, a reimagining of their 2020 record Slow Apocalypse — Sleepy Gonzales are aiming to level up and diversify their sound even more with Mercy Kill. Working closely with a producer, Colin Stewart, for the first time and recording their new material on Vancouver Island, the band now finds all four of its members bringing songwriting ideas to the table and taking their turn on the mic. Mercy Kill contains the band’s first songs penned by Ally and Nick, bringing new perspectives and themes to the classic Sleepy Gonzales vibe. With the right resources now on their side, Sleepy Gonzales have the freedom to make the kind of music they had always envisioned.
With hazy melodies often drenched in reverb and touching duets between their male and female vocalists, Sleepy Gonzales’ lyrics are free-flowing and poetic musings on finding the fleeting moments of joy in a world that’s moving a little too fast. As they continue to gain experience and learn as musicians, more creative projects are coming to mind — Slower Apocalypse was, after all, a solo undertaking by Beni to further develop his mixing skills, as well as an exercise in nostalgia (another sentiment that color’s the band’s sound).
Following their natural instincts and letting whatever sound feels right to capture the moment’s emotion creep its way into their musical palate, Sleepy Gonzales pride themselves on being the “realest” in Vancouver’s rich indie scene. In a sea of bands with similar characteristics, Beni jokes Sleepy Gonzales “couldn’t sound like [they] were from Vancouver if they tried.” Regardless of your energy level when throwing on their music, Sleepy Gonzales will have the sound you’re looking for somewhere in their catalog.