Sleepyhead’s ‘New Alchemy’ Was Inspired By A Utopian Experiment

Sleepyhead’s sixth album, New Alchemy, will be arriving on August 19th, 2022, and was recorded at the Boston area recording studio Q Division with Producer and Q Division co-founder Jon Lupfer at the helm. The album will be arriving as a digital download and via streaming platforms and this will be followed by a release on 12” vinyl LP later this year. 

The title track to New Alchemy was inspired by the exploits of the New Alchemy Institute, a utopian endeavor founded by idealistic scientists in the 1970’s in Falmouth, Massachusetts, the hometown of Sleepyhead guitarist/vocalist Chris O’Rourke. For years, O’Rourke had been wanting to write a song inspired by the place that he’d visited as a child on school trips, and finally made it happen. Then the band decided it’d also make a great album title.

The band explains:

The members of the New Alchemy Institute looked to nature as the ultimate designer of systems to support the human population of this planet. Careful observation of natural cycles and processes inspired their templates truly sustainable forms of agriculture and animal husbandry. They researched intensive gardening, biological pest control, cover cropping, irrigation utilizing fishpond water, perennial food crops, and tree crops. They raised fish in above-ground, translucent tanks; wastewater was used in hydroponic farming as well as irrigating greenhouse crops.

Artwork by Rachael McNally

Sleepyhead’s most recent releases include Wild Sometimes in 2014, and in the Spring of 2018, Drawing Room Records released a deluxe double vinyl LP/digital reissue of previous albums Starduster and Communist Love Songs called Future Exhibit Goes Here.

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