Something about the name Sleepyvillain was immediately appealing to me. Maybe it’s just the combination of words, or maybe I’m associating those words with Passion Pit’s “Sleepyhead” and Madvillain. Either way, I had to give this a listen, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Sleepyvillain (Akila Fields) is an artist from Portland, Oregon who spent three years traveling to every major city and living in an 8 x 8 train car as a musician for Barnum and Bailey. He also spent time playing jazz gigs, and his unique musical experiences have led up to this. Originally, his friend was going to sing the vocals. He laid down some rough vocals as a blueprint and his friend ended up liking it and suggesting he do it himself. I like it too – it’s not the kind of high-flying voice that’s gonna blow you away, but there’s a gentle vulnerability about it that matches this whole Sleepyvillain vibe. At times it reminds me a little of Pedro the Lion. His album Arithmetic is coming out in January. Check out two songs below.

Soft Shoe by sleepyvillain

Swoon City by sleepyvillain