Sleep for Dreaming
Gig Seeker Pro

Sleep for Dreaming

Amarillo, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Amarillo, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Alternative




"Sleep for Dreaming - Memories"

Sleep for Dreaming is a band of four guys currently based in Amarillo, Texas. The pop/punk and indie rock influenced band is made up of lead singer and guitarist Zoe Bohlen, lead guitarist Ismael Armendez, bassist Calvin Barker, and drummer Bryan Singer. The name of the band comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet’s monologue “to sleep, perchance to dream.” Memories is their first EP release, and they are hoping to gain some new fans with it.

The first track, “Memories,” shows off the band’s pop/punk side with pounding drums and searing guitars. The lyrics focus on remembering what life was like before taking off on tour with a popular band and having to leave a significant other behind. Basically just reminiscing about a summer spent with someone: “Memories like photographs inside my mind / reflections of the summertime.” Next, “Satellites” is a very sappy indie rock love song about really pining for someone and wanting them to feel the same way. There are very cute and sweet lyrics such as: “I saw you in the moonlight / you looked so beautiful… / …and the satellites and the full moon saw / how amazing you are.” Swoon; am I right?

“Something Greater” is a slower song about looking for God and then finding him as a reason for everything. The instrumentation includes lots of subtle guitars with piano and drums. The bridge takes the song to a fuller rock sound that continues to the end. “In Your Arms” is yet another love song, but this time it’s a slow acoustic number. It seems like a lullaby to try and woo a girl. I really enjoyed the echoing piano.

Overall: Sleep for Dreaming is a promising new band, and this EP is sure to bring them some attention. Their instrumentation is all very well done, and their lyrics are thoughtful and never cliched. This band’s sound reminds me a bit of Paradise Fears, who is currently becoming quite a popular act. I believe this Memories EP has brought a perfect sampling of what we can expect from Sleep for Dreaming in the future, and I hope to see a full-length release soon. - Indie Vision Music

"Sleep For Dreaming Artist Profile"

In just two years time, Sleep For Dreaming has blossomed from a burgeoning upstart to one of the southwest's brightest buzz bands thanks to an infectious and inventive sound that's equal parts pop/punk, modern rock and indie inclined. In fact, the group's DIY ethos has brought co-founders Zoe Bohlen (singer) and Bryan Singer (drummer) from their humble roots in Bismarck, North Dakota to shake up their surroundings in Raleigh, North Carolina and eventual settling just outside of Amarillo, Texas where the group cemented its nucleus with the addition of bassist Calvin Barker and lead guitarist Ismael Armendariz through a mutual friend at church.

"It was really just a huge leap of faith and really going on a limb as to how we all came together," says Bryan of the players' initial differences in geographic upbringings. "But as we all started talking about our personal goals, they quickly became band goals and everyone was instantly on the same page with 100% commitment."

Aside from sharing many musical similarities (more on those in a minute), the guys are also clearly united in the idea of pursuing their dreams to the fullest. Not only did the foursome all feel the calling to deliver an authentic, heartfelt brand of songwriting to the church and beyond, but they've quite literally sold many of their possessions to make music ministry life's ultimate priority. With all that in mind, Sleep For Dreaming was certainly a natural moniker for the group to choose, not to mention having a curious ring to it.

"It partially comes from Hamlet's monologue 'to sleep, perchance to dream,' but Sleep For Dreaming has a lot of different meanings to us," verifies Zoe. "To us, the name is a bit ironic as it suggests that you are only dreaming when you sleep and not actively pursuing your dreams, but in actuality, that's what we are doing every second of every day. Dreams take more than a night's sleep to make happen, at least, those dreams that you want to see come true."

After testing out those spiritually-grounded philosophies and their songs on the regional road, Sleep For Dreaming is gearing up for its national debut EP Memories, which is built on a foundation of contagious hooks, anthemic power chords and emotive lyrics that address several facets of growing up, all wound around the guys' personal observations. Fans of Jimmy Eat World, MXPX, Paramore, Taking Back Sunday, Mayday Parade and Anberlin will instantly be struck with the surging sounds, along with the melodic variety that's simply textbook Sleep For Dreaming.

"The hardest question to answer is who we sound like, and I can't give you a definite answer who or what our genre can be, which I think can be a good thing, although if you like any of those bands, you'd probably be into checking out our music as well," notes Bryan before Zoe continues. "I kind of shy away from comparisons because we want to be our own group. We'd like to be our own thing completely and see where it takes us."

One major point of distinction is Sleep For Dreaming's songwriting smarts, which starts out with the attention commanding title track "Memories." Written in the wake of a relationship not working out, it ultimately points to God reworking the situation according to His plan and resulting in something better than either party ever imagined. Add in the fact it's a three minute radio-friendly confection, and it's simply impossible not to roll down the windows and sing along.

"We've sold our vehicles, left our homes, quit our jobs and parted ways with our girlfriends in order to put our focus on where we feel God is leading us," confides Zoe. "It's a song about remembering the way things used to be, but also looking forward to the future and all the possibilities the open road holds."

Topical and stylistic variety comes from "Satellites," which serves as the antithesis to "Memories" in the fact that it longs for falling in love with the right girl (as dictated by God's timing), wrapped around a rootsy, Nashville-inspired sound. The fist-pumper "Something Greater" keeps the pace fast and feverish, while most overtly showcasing the guys' rock solid spiritual foundations as they continue to trace out their Christ-centered calling.

"It's basically about discovering what you are made for and pursuing that side with as much veracity as you can," notes Zoe before Bryan interjects. "But it's not just about following and finding your dreams, but also finding God and knowing there's something greater than what this world has to offer."

"In Your Arms" helps bring the project full circle in its thought-provoking, acoustically- framed motif, but also as it intertwines with the recurring theme of relationships and aspirations. Perhaps Zoe summarizes the song's sentiments best as a means to "look for a place where you belong and try to find your place in this world."

Even though he's the primary songwriter, all of the guys have distinct personalities that contribute to the clever chemistry of Sleep For Dreaming. We'll start with Bryan, the laid back patriarch of the band who everyone else credits as the glue which holds the guys together. "Music has always been a huge passion in my life," he admits. "I started playing drums when I was 13 and got my first kit when I was 14. I grew up in an athletic family, but when my brothers were playing basketball, I'd bring my drums and play in the pep band. I always preferred that over trying to be a terrible athlete. I always had the personality of holding things together and keeping everyone's head on straight while trying to keep on my own."

His long time friend and fearless front man Zoe certainly evokes charisma at every turn, which only makes sense given his incredibly extroverted upbringing. "I'm used to performing since I was a kid," he shares. "My parents went to college to be in theatre, raised me in acting and I even played Peter Pan in a theatre production. In a sense with Sleep For Dreaming, I'm taking that to the next level. I'm not super great with words

outside of music, but I put my feelings into music more than anything. I also enjoy fellowship, being around people and I love all these guys."

That creative background is essentially parallel to Ismael's artistic tendencies, whose jaw dropping musicianship suggests he was simply born a natural. "On my mom's side of the family, I don't think there's anyone who doesn't know how to play an instrument," he recalls. "I grew up watching my uncles playing drums and they would even pile bricks on the pedals so I could reach them and play along. I just developed an ear for music at a really young age and would always try to add something to what I observed other people playing. I'm just happy that I came out of a musical family because it helped me to develop my sound, which has since translated to guitar...I tend to be quiet if I don't know somebody too well, but once I start getting to know them, I tend to open up."

Last but not least is the little brother of the band Calvin, who's so determined as a goal setter that he simply doesn't stop until they're attained. While bass is his primary position in the group, he's more accurately termed a prodigy-like multi-instrumentalist with an equally admirable dietary consciousness. "I've played music for 12 years and it's what I want to do with the rest of my life. Besides bass, I picked up violin and fiddle as well," he explains, before revealing another fascinating trait of unflinching dedication. "A year- and-a-half ago, I was overweight, so I went vegan on a mostly fruit-based, almost raw diet."

Add it all up and Sleep For Dreaming is well on its way to making a splash within faith- based listening circles and beyond. "We write from the heart and we want to affect people in a positive way," sums up Zoe. "We want to make people think about life and what they can really do if they put their mind to it. We're just musicians doing what we love to do, but above all, we hope to build a bridge from the church to the world and bring everyone together. - NTR

"Review: Sleep For Dreaming – Memories EP"

The debut release for Sleep For Dreaming, a quartet based in Amarillo, Texas, is four-song sampler of their different flavors of music. At first, it seems like the band is just checking off boxes on Memories EP – the breakup song, the love song, the slow-building rock anthem and the acoustic ballad are all featured here. But each one is well-crafted, and this taste of Sleep For Dreaming’s music leaves the listener craving more.

The album starts off with its title track, a pop-punk song that works well but doesn’t really stand out. Tinged with both sadness and hope, the lyrics look back on a relationship that didn’t work out. “Satellites” artfully describes looking forward to one that will – “She paints pictures of the sky and watches planes pass her by / Wondering when her dreams will meet reality / Darling I’ll be here, won’t you stay with me / Just hold on, hold on tight.” This is where Sleep For Dreaming starts to really show its potential. The chords and rhythms shift unexpectedly to change the mood at different points in the song. But the standout song on Memories is “Something Greater.” As atmospheric music begins to build, adding layers of instruments, lead vocalist Zoe Bohlen sings longingly about finding his purpose and meaning in life. The music swells as he hints that he has finally found what he’s looking for.

“In Your Arms” slows things down to close the album. It explores the uncertainty, vulnerability and risk that can be involved in a relationship. This love can be interpreted as either human or divine – it’s left up to the listener to decide. The chorus sings, “I’m looking for a place where I belong / Trying to find a reason and a song / I’d take back all the things that I’ve done wrong / To call you my own.” The acoustic guitar plucking, dampened drums and echoing vocals are very reminiscent of softer tunes by Switchfoot and that band’s lead vocalist, Jon Foreman. For someone familiar with their music, the similarity is enough to be distracting in an otherwise beautiful song.

The album is not as high-energy as one might expect from a band that compares itself to MxPx, Taking Back Sunday and Jimmy Eat World, but it’s still a fun listen. Musically, it’s a blend of modern rock, pop-punk and indie styles. The lyrics have great moments of creativity and depth, but they’re a little inconsistent. Bohlen’s dynamic voice adapts to the different styles well, and drummer Bryan Singer, bassist Calvin Barker and guitarist Ismael Armendariz bring solid musicianship to the table. Overall, Memories EP is a promising debut, and it’s worth following Sleep For Dreaming to see where the band goes from here. - Soul Audio

"Indie rock band hopes to launch from Amarillo"

Hard as it may be to believe, but behind Calvin Barker’s bushy beard is a 16-year-old kid.

“Seventeen in two weeks,” Barker protested.

But yes, the hirsute Barker is still a teen — and, despite his age, he’s the reason three itinerant North Dakota musicians decided to use Amarillo as the launching ground for their indie rock band, Sleep for Dreaming.

The band will kick off its tour opening for Dallas-based Parabelle on Thursday in Scottsdale, Ariz. The month long tour will take the musicians to Hollywood, Chicago and Denver before returning to Amarillo to finish planning a release party for their second EP, “Heartless,” set for digital release Tuesday. (That is, if the band’s Kickstarter campaign, which closes Monday, is successful.)

Lead singer Zoe Bohlen, 22, and drummer Bryan Singer, 25, moved to Amarillo by way of North Carolina after catching wind of Dumas resident Barker’s talents through a mutual musician and friend.

“He’s got a dedication to it that we haven’t been able to find anywhere else,” Bohlen said. “For us, the whole thing is playing music, making it a job and a career, and actually, that’s more valuable than being the greatest bass player in the world, which he may be.”

Bohlen and Singer, along with tour manager Evan Price, 23, said they weren’t finding any traction in North Carolina, so the move to Amarillo to pull in a teen bass player had no downside. While here, they also have been joined by rhythm guitarist Dylan Jones, 19, also of Dumas, and lead guitarist Mason Smith, 24, owner of Amarillo’s NueWave Recording.

“Amarillo’s not necessarily better, but the people are better,” Bohlen said.

“The opportunities are better,” Price said.

But before moving here, the North Dakotans knew next to nothing about the area.

“I knew (Amarillo) was in the song ‘Route 66,’” Bohlen said.

“And ‘Amarillo by Morning,’” interjected every one else but Singer, much to Jones’ dismay.

“I like punk, and I still like George Strait,” Jones said.

The goal, though, isn’t to stay in Amarillo too long.

“I guess it doesn’t matter that we’re here,” Smith said. “We want to do 200 shows a year. We’re really just here ’til Calvin is ready to leave.”

That will be within a year, the home-schooled student said.

“It’s a lot of pressure because they’re here for me,” Barker said.

“That’s at least what we let you believe,” Price said.

“For me,” Barker said later, “because I’m so young, it’s amazing. Every day I realize I’m actually in this right now — doing what I love to do and what I was made to do.” - Amarillo Globe


Memories (EP) June 18, 2013

Heartless (EP) April 19, 2014

Reverie (LP) January, 2015



With origins in North Dakota, Sleep for Dreaming has flourished and taken root in Amarillo, Texas where they are taking the country captive with their contagious sound that is both Rock n' Roll and Alternative. Childhood friends Zoe Bohlen (vocals/guitar) and Bryan Singer (former drummer), both of North Dakota, spent a year honing their superb songwriting and musicianship skills before relocating to Texas where they teamed up with Calvin Barker (bass) and released their first EP, "Memories", in 2013. 

In early 2014, Mason Smith (lead guitar) was added to the round-up and shortly after the band released their sophomore EP, "Heartless". The band is currently recording their debut album,"Reverie", set to release January 2015. With two west coast tours already under their belt, Sleep for Dreaming is taking their music to the masses, accumulating fans at every stop with their powerful lyrics, dynamic guitar-driven tunes, and charismatic stage presence. 

Sleep for Dreaming is a band made up of visionaries and achievers who work relentlessly to chase down their dreams. Bohlen says of the band’s name, “To us, the name is a bit ironic as it suggests that you are only dreaming when you sleep and not actively pursuing your dreams, but in actuality, that’s what we are doing every second of every day. Dreams take more than a night’s sleep to make happen.” 

Band Members