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An L.A.-based alt-rock trio with a deep electro edge, Sir Sly was born from endless hours of experimentation in the band’s own self-built studio. With their moody fusion of dark synth lines, hip-hop grooves, dreamy guitar tones, and propulsive beats, multi-instrumentalists Landon Jacobs, Jason Suwito, and Hayden Coplen create visionary pop-noir songs gracefully grounded by their sharp melodic sensibilities and emotionally intricate songwriting.
Largely culled from several dozen songs written in the trio’s first few months of existence, Sir Sly’s full-length debut You Haunt Me was recorded, produced, mixed, and engineered entirely by the band. Drawing on Jacobs’s inventive and sophisticated songwriting and lyricism, Suwito’s boundless in-studio creativity, and Coplen’s musicianship and sense of songcraft, the album blends the raw tension of rock & roll with the fresh and frenetic energy of electronic music in a sound that’s lush yet stark, melancholy but exhilarating.
Throughout You Haunt Me, Sir Sly keep their lyrics cryptic but allow a pure and powerful emotion to shine through each line. “I like lyrics that give you these little snapshots of what’s happening, so that you get all the emotional pulses from that without having to know the specifics of the story being told,” says Jacobs, who serves as Sir Sly’s lead vocalist. On “Ghost,” shimmering harmonies and woozy grooves snake through quietly unnerving lyrics about love and loss, while the soaring vocals and summery tempo of lead single “You Haunt Me” sweeten up the song’s story of self-destructive obsession. Laced with eerie piano chords and heavy basslines, “Gold” weighs in on the psychic impact of fame. And even when dropping references to Dante’s Inferno, Greek mythology, and The Bible (on “Inferno,” featuring MS MR vocalist/Neon Gold co-founder Lizzy Plapinger), Sir Sly spin melodies as catchy as any pop-radio anthem.
Sir Sly’s melodic brilliance owes much to each member’s long-honed musical talents. Orange County natives and friends since high school, Jacobs (who started writing songs in his bedroom at age 13 after taking up guitar and piano) and Coplen (who learned to play drums by imitating old videos of Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa) connected with Suwito through the local music scene years ago. In August 2012, after the duo recorded a batch of songs for a former project at Suwito’s studio, Jacobs and Suwito teamed up on a whim and started working on songs together. The partnership quickly yielded “Ghost” and “Found You Out,” and Jacobs and Suwito soon called on Coplen to join them in a collaboration that fast proved heavily productive. In spring 2013, building off the buzz that surrounded the release of “Ghost” via Neon Gold, Sir Sly signed with Cherrytree Records and began bringing their full-length debut to life.
With their onstage explorations continuing to expand the Sir Sly sound, the band keeps on finding new ways to tap into the strange magnetism of their shared vision. “We all go down different paths, but in a way that helps all our ideas to coalesce in the end,” notes Coplen. “And that gives everything a cool kind of energy that could only come from the three of us making music together.”