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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Doze off with the Driptones’ new EP

“Sleeptalker,” the band’s first EP, takes listeners on a dreamlike journey

<p>&quot;Sleeptalker,&quot; the first EP from the Driptones, dropped Sept. 10. </p>

"Sleeptalker," the first EP from the Driptones, dropped Sept. 10.

The Driptones’ latest release ends the same way many of its fan’s days start: with the sharp, incessant buzzing of an alarm pulling someone out of sleep and back into consciousness. 

“Sleeptalker,” the Gainesville band’s first EP, dropped Sept. 10 at midnight. The collection is made up of six songs total, two of which function as shorter interludes. The Driptones debuted the album for a live crowd at High Dive Sept. 10, playing alongside Driveaway, Leah Rando and Bobby Kidd. 

In June, fans got their first glimpse into the project with the release of “Getaway” as a single, but Driptones’ lead guitarist Collin Fitzgerald, 20, said the EP had been in the works for far longer — nearly six months since the band first started recording.  

Twenty-one-year-old vocalist, keyboardist and guitarist Xander Boggs said the band wrote most of the music that appears on the EP during quarantine — an environment that ultimately influenced its overarching themes. Boredom, lethargy and uncertainty about where life is headed were a few of these recurring motifs, he said. 

“The main theme behind the EP is that it’s not really a problem that you’re unsure about where it’s headed because you’re going somewhere either way,” Boggs said. “You’re going to get to where you’re supposed to be.”

The structure of the EP was also a deliberate decision, following the general outline of a long night’s rest. The track opens with an instrumental interlude, which Boggs said represents the act of drifting off to sleep. Each song afterward depicts a different “stop” along the dream sequence, he said, and the EP ends the way most dreams do — with an alarm going off. 

Because of this unique layout, Fitzgerald said the EP is meant to be played all the way through without stopping. 

Sonically, “Sleeptalker” also comprised a shift compared to music the Driptones have released in the past. While the band has delved into a variety of genres, Boggs described the EP as more produced than previous songs, with greater influence from synthesizers and keyboards. As for lyrics, he said the writing was more introverted and introspective.

Although the EP carries a distinctly “low-fi vibe” compared to the band's more recent, high-energy singles “Wave Sounds” and “Sunsick,” Fitzgerald said the content of the music still holds the same depth.

The release of “Sleeptalker” followed another recent announcement made at the Back to School Fest on Aug. 28. The Driptones’ are signing to the student-run record label Swamp Records.  

Since the Driptones is made up of full-time students, Boggs said it’s been a huge advantage to receive help when it comes to running social media accounts, booking shows, sending out emails and conducting other behind-the-scenes work. 

“A lot of that weight falls to other people now,” he said. “We get to focus on the musical content aspect of it, as opposed to all the extra stuff that revolves around being a band.” 

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Mikey Saltzman, the Driptones’ artist director at Swamp Records and a 21-year-old UF finance junior, said the record label has been developing a passionate team of students to help promote the band’s success. 

“There’s definitely a lot of potential with how they brand themselves through social media and how they can increase band awareness around Gainesville,” Saltzman said. “They have a lot of visions that they want to be fulfilled, and we allow access to complete their visions.” 

Saltzman also said that Swamp Records has benefited from an accessible relationship with the Driptones due to its status as a local band. The group’s connection to the Gainesville community — especially local venues — makes it compelling to the college audience, he said.

Contact Veronica Nocera at Follow her on Twitter @vernocera.

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Veronica Nocera

Veronica Nocera is a third-year journalism major, history minor and The Avenue editor. She spent two semesters reporting arts and culture for The Alligator and also writes for Rowdy Magazine. When she’s not writing, she’s probably reading, journaling or taping random pictures to her wall. Also, she’ll probably be wearing yellow. 

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