Songs You May Have Missed #311

chalkChalk Dinosaur: “Sleeping Late” (2010)

You know how some songs just sound better loud? Chalk Dinosaur’s slithering synth intro begs me to turn up the volume as John O’Hallaron proceeds to complain about having one of those nights when sleep just won’t come.

O’Hallaron, who hails from Pittsburgh, PA, basically is Chalk Dinosaur. As his Bandcamp link points out, his music swings wildly between styles from one release to the next. When you think you can safely peg it as Weezer-influenced indie pop, O’Hallaron releases an EP of surf guitar tunes. ( http://chalkdinosaur.bandcamp.com/album/kitty-hawk-surf ). Then comes the title track from the Follow Me EP, which sounds like a lost 60’s harmony vocal group artifact, and so on. He’ll even mix in the occasional 9 or 11-minute psychedelic rock epic.

O’Hallaron’s not kidding when he lists his influences as “Any music that makes me feel something.”

He’s certainly a prolific writer too, having released five albums or EPs over a four-year span. And his website, which keeps track of the songs he writes in chronological order, lists over 200 compositions: http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/jrohalla/

Interesting guy, and still unsigned. Perhaps because that kind of eclecticism would drive record label marketing types bonkers. As long as his self-released music is accessible through major outlets, which is it, this is probably the best arrangement for all concerned. No one has the job of figuring out how to promote an artistic chameleon, while John can continue to make the music he enjoys making, and fans know it’ll always be interesting.

Sleeping Late:

Four useless hours
lying in bed
trying to sleep.

My brain’s on fire.
I should try
counting sheep.

When I close my eyes,
thoughts start to flood my mind.
Why I get so deep
I don’t know, I just wanna fall asleep.

Sun is creeping up.
It’s getting light.
I’m wide awake.

I’m doomed again.
Plans or not,
I’m sleeping late.

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