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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Voltage Band Spotlight #5: Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps

Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps - Photo by Amanda Johnson

Band members: Caroline Smith (guitar, vocals), Arlen Peiffer (drums), Jesse Schuster (bass) and Colin Hacklander (keyboards)


Caroline Smith is going places. Literally. Smith and her three piece band band The Good Night Sleeps, which consists of Colin Hacklander (Something With Kites) on keyboards, Jesse Schuster (Lucy Michelle) on bass and Arlen Peiffer (Cloud Cult, The Wapsipinicon) on drums, will hit the Voltage Fashion Amplified stage a week after a tour of the Midwest and the East Coast that takes them from Iowa City to Brooklyn and back again. As soon as Voltage winds up, the band will be back out on the road less than a week later to Madison, Chicago and South Bend, Indiana.

Smith’s folk/pop debut Backyard Tent Set came out in 2008. Often compared to Lucy Michelle, with whom she shares bassist Jesse Schuster, for her Billie Holiday/Joanna Newsom-like vocals, Caroline Smith played First Avenue’s Best New Bands showcase in 2008. On her Myspace page, Smith cities an exceedingly diverse list of influences, from Ben Gibbard, to Wilco, to Carly Simon and The Pixies. It all adds up to a listen that is always engaging, often tender and accessible whichever direction your musical taste runs.

What strikes me most about Smith is her poise. She’s a performer fully aware and fully in control while on stage. Her songs are often troubling, but matter of fact stories. Check out “Closing the Doors” as an exemplary song.

Smith released Live At The Cedar in January, and the band is currently working on a full length album due out later in 2010.

For Voltage, Caroline Smith and her band will be outfitted by Calpurnia Peach, the designer team of Luci Kandler and Ashley Wokasch. (In the publicity photo above, Smith is wearing one of their dresses.)

Voltage is Friday, April 16th at First Avenue. Buy your tickets now!

Head over to our Voltage partner, L'etoile Magazine for this week's designer profiles on Emma Berg and Kevin Kramp.