The album was self-produced by the Barr Brothers, with recording and mixing handled by Ryan Freeland (the Rolling Stones, Billy Bragg). Sessions took place in Montreal and Los Angeles, with contributors including Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire, the Luyas, Little Scream, Patrick Watson's band and more. The diverse arrangements include instruments like horns, marimba, hammered dulcimer, pedal steel, a fan-made instrument called a cardboardium, and an African instrument called a ngoni.
The 13 tracks were selected from more than 40 songs that the band recorded during the album-making process. According to a press release, the songs are "meditative and explosive, exploring the far reaches of folk laced with West African influences, hypnotic modernist pulsing and beyond." It's said to be intimate despite its ambitious scope.
Scroll past the tracklist below to see the band's tour schedule. It includes a few Ontario festival dates this summer and some Quebec stops in the fall. These are interspersed between U.S. legs and European jaunts.
At the bottom of the page, watch a short trailer for Sleeping Operator.
Read our October 2014 cover story on the Barr Brothers here.
1. Static Orphans 2. Love Ain't Enough 3. Wolves 4. Even the Darkness Has Arms 5. Come in the Water 6. Little Lover 7. How the Heroine Dies 8. Valhallas 9. Half Crazy 10. Bring Me Your Love 11. England 12. The Bear at the Window 13. Please Let Me Let it Go
06/15 Brooklyn, NY - Rough Trade NYC (Northside Festival) # 06/20 Toronto, ON - Massey Hall (NXNE) * 07/05 Orillia, ON - Mariposa Folk Festival 07/06 Orillia, ON - Mariposa Folk Festival 07/18 Barnstaple, UK - Somersault Festival 07/19 Salisbury, UK - Larmer Tree Festival 07/20 Munich, DE - Olympiapark 07/21 Stuttgart, DE - Jugendhaus Feuerbach 07/22 Würzburg, DE - Uni Würzburg 07/23 Mannheim, DE - Marktplatz Mannheim 08/01 Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon 08/03 Happy Valley, OR - Pickathon 08/23 Burlington, VT - WYSIWYG Farm, Food, Music & Art Festival 08/24 Burlington, VT - WYSIWYG Farm, Food, Music & Art Festival 08/29 Salisbury, UK - End of the Road Festival 08/30 Salisbury, UK - End of the Road Festival 08/31 Salisbury, UK - End of the Road Festival 09/05 Berlin, DE - First We Take Berlin 09/27 Santa Monica, CA - Newport Folk Presents Way Over Yonder ^ 11/06 Montreal, QC - Metropolis % 11/07 Sherbrooke, QC - Theatre Granada % 11/08 Quebec, QC - Imperial de Quebec % 11/14 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle 11/15 Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center 11/22 Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair
# with Swaai Boys * with Spiritualized ^ with Jackson Browne % with Bahamas