Sleeping Weird

The Special Pillow

The Special Pillow's sixth sensational collection of psychedelic pop, encompassing winsome melodies, garage-rock crunch, snappy bubblegum hooks, orchestral flourishes, and tripped-out ambience

For the past two decades, The Special Pillow have operated from the margins of the marginal, creating a distinctive string-driven sound—a heady brew encompassing concise ’60s-flavored pop gems, dreamy psychedelic reveries, and a propulsive drive redolent of the antipodean indie acts of the ‘80s. In 2015, Yo La Tengo shined a light on the Pillow’s shadowy demimonde with their cover of the band’s “Automatic Doom.” Now, The Special Pillow unleash Sleeping Weird, their senses-shattering sixth album.

Since the dissolution of cult heroes Hypnolovewheel, songwriter and majordomo Dan Cuddy has played bass with such notable combos as Sleepyhead and XL Kings, but has reserved his own compositions for The Special Pillow.

Sleeping Weird is the group’s third project with engineer Mitch Rackin, recorded and mixed at Brooklyn’s Seaside Lounge recording studio. Featured players are charter Special Pillow member Katie Gentile (Run On, Mad Scene) on violin and viola; longtime collaborator Peter Stuart (Headless Horsemen, Tryfles) on a staggering arsenal of guitars; and Eric Marc Cohen (Fly Ashtray) on drums and percussion. All the band members contribute vocals, and the ensemble is enhanced by the keyboards of Ariella Stok (Sloppy Heads) and horns courtesy of Steven Levi and Cheryl Kingan (The Scene Is Now).

A much-abused hyperbolic trope of recent years posits that a given work of art has special resonance with “the way we live now” or is needed “now more than ever.” We won’t attempt to convince you that Sleeping Weird is such a topical watershed. The Special Pillow are in it for life and their lives are reflected in these songs: The days are getting dark and they want a way to keep the world at bay, sweep everything under the rug, and retreat to a cryogenic tomb. But it’s getting older every day and they’re concerned about it and it seems as though their skulls may burst into flames if they don’t speak out loud. They’re floating on, and singing.

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At the Earth's Core

The Special Pillow

Sweet subterranean sounds: The Special Pillow are at their most melodic and most chaotic in this fifth fabulous foray into string-driven, psych-flavored pop.

For the past two decades, the Special Pillow have stealthily operated beneath the underground of their Hoboken hometown, mining a unique vein of string-driven, psych-flavored pop. In 2015, Yo La Tengo shone a light on the Pillow’s shadowy demimonde with their cover of the band’s “Automatic Doom.” Now, the Special Pillow have surfaced again, bringing At the Earth’s Core, their fifth fabulous album, into the light of day.

Since the dissolution of indie cult heroes Hypnolovewheel, songwriter and majordomo Dan Cuddy has played bass with such notable combos as Sleepyhead and XL Kings, but has reserved his own distinctive compositions for the Special Pillow’s collective thaumaturgy.

Featured players on At the Earth’s Core are charter Special Pillow member Katie Gentile (Run On, Mad Scene) on violin and viola; longtime collaborator Peter Stuart (Headless Horsemen, Tryfles) on a staggering arsenal of guitars, basses, and other stringed instruments; and Eric Marc Cohen (Fly Ashtray), making his recording debut with the group, on drums and percussion. Everybody contributes vocals, with Katie taking the lead on two tracks, and the celestial choir is enhanced with the dulcet tones of folk chanteuse Debby Schwartz (of P.G. Six and solo renown).

At the Earth’s Core is the band’s second project with engineer Mitch Rackin, recorded and mixed at Brooklyn’s scintillating Seaside Lounge recording studio. It encompasses the Special Pillow at their most melodic and most chaotic; sweet subterranean sounds haunted by the ghosts of the Jurassic Period, waging a never-ending battle against overwhelming odds, irreconcilable differences, and the goddamn PATH train.

Praise for The Special Pillow

“Catchy songs . . . uplifting, lightly psych-flavoured vignettes . . . concise and clever.” —Terrascope Online

“Soothing harmonies and supple, sad strings . . . jangly . . . driving . . . Go-Betweens/Chills/Bats New Zealand–influenced pop.” —The Big Takeover

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Infinite Regression

The Special Pillow

The fourth album and utmost utterance to date from the Hoboken-based indie-pop consortium, combining irresistible melodic miniatures with a soupçon of psychedelic sprawl.

Praise for The Special Pillow

“A marvelous blend of ’60s psychedelia and ’90s space-rock textures . . . a fanciful, dreamy set of low-key, jangly/droney pop nuggets, with literate, impressionistic lyrics, highly recommended.” —Amplifier

“The psych-minded quartet skillfully contrasts the jangly and dreamy with the bitter and hard-driving.” —Time Out New York

“An extraordinary agglomeration.” —Ptolemaic Terrascope

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Sleeping Beauty

The Special Pillow

Psychedelic pop encompassing winsome melodies, garage-rock crunch, snappy bubblegum hooks, orchestral flourishes, tripped-out ambience, and multipartite epics

SLEEPING BEAUTY, the third album by The Special Pillow, finds the band streamlining its roster, sharpening its hooks, and expanding its musical palette. The pop songs are ridiculously catchy, the freaky parts are super-freaky, the heavy rock is extra heavy and rocky, and the quieter moments are ultra-pastoral.

PRAISE FOR THE SPECIAL PILLOW

A marvelous blend of ’60s psychedelia and ’90s space-rock textures . . . a fanciful, dreamy set of low-key, jangly/droney pop nuggets, with literate, impressionistic lyrics, highly recommended.” —Amplifier

“Affecting pop . . . ingenious arrangements.” —Time Out New York

“There are a bunch of terrific songs here . . . colored with jangly guitars and swooning violin . . . a stunning, off-kilter pop record.”—Splendid

“Lilting, folk-y melodies shine throughout, as do inventive violin and viola arrangements. . . . Well worth the wait for fans . . . and a nice, warm place to enter as a novitiate.” —Resonance

“An extraordinary agglomeration.” —Ptolemaic Terrascope

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Inside the Special Pillow

The Special Pillow

Psychedelic pop encompassing winsome melodies, garage-rock crunch, snappy bubblegum hooks, orchestral flourishes, tripped-out ambience, and multipartite epics

INSIDE THE SPECIAL PILLOW is the long-awaited second album by the Special Pillow, a psych-pop magnum opus encompassing winsome melodies, garage-rock crunch, snappy bubblegum hooks, orchestral flourishes, tripped-out ambience, and multipartite epics.

The follow-up to 1997's critically acclaimed ANCIENT HISTORY, INSIDE THE SPECIAL PILLOW features tracks produced by Michael Deming (of Lilys, Pernice Brothers, and Beachwood Sparks fame), in addition to an array of masterful musical moments captured in rehearsal studios, living rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms throughout the New York metropolitan area by the band's own Peter Walsh.

Contributing musicians include past and present members of such prestigious indie-rock acts as Hypnolovewheel, Run On, Antietam, Splendora, and Sleepyhead. This pedigreed ensemble has pooled their considerable talents to bring the inimitable songs of Dan Cuddy to glorious fruition.

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Ancient History

The Special Pillow

Blissful and expansive, string-laden psychedelic pop songs.

The Special Pillow is a lovely and talented psychedelic pop combo, performing the scintillating song stylings of Dan Cuddy, formerly of early-nineties rock sensation Hypnolovewheel. Their CD debut, ANCIENT HISTORY, features the talents of guitarist James Mc New (Yo La Tengo bassist and Dump soloist), violinist Katie Gentile (formerly of Matador art-rockers Run On), cellist Cindy Brolsma (ex-Splendora), and producer/percussionist Peter Walsh.

The Village Voice praised ANCIENT HISTORY "blissful and expansive and The Ptolemaic Terrascope hailed it as a "skewed pop masterpiece."

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SLEEPING WEIRD ON BANDCAMP

THE SPECIAL PILLOW ON SPOTIFY

AT THE EARTH'S CORE ON BANDCAMP