Even the loudest songs can be turned into a lullaby. Change the tempo, make a few instrument swaps and Blink 182's "All The Small Things" could become the new "Baa Baa Black Sheep".
This is exactly what Casey Cole was thinking. After growing tired of listening to the same songs when putting his newborn daughter, Sparrow, to sleep, Cole, a pop-punk enthusiast and musician, teamed with a friend and fellow musician to transform songs from such artists as Saves the Day, Jimmy Eat World and Senses Fail into soft, gentle tracks meant to calm daddy as much as daughter.
The result: Sparrow Sleeps a collection of pop punk albums altered to induce sleep.
"Fatherhood is scary," says Cole. "Being thrown into a situation where you suddenly are responsible for a fragile, tiny, beautiful human is overwhelming. They cry a lot, and they sleep a lot, and you have to feed them and change them a lot. So in the middle of the night, if you can get them to sleep while listening to something that's familiar to you, we're hoping it takes a little bit of the edge off."
Each track Cole and his partner Peter Lockhart remix maintains the melody of the original but morphs the loud, shout-filled anthems into gentle, lyric-less lullabies. So far, the duo has altered 16 albums, each of which are restructred to be relaxing and retitled to reflect their new genre. For example, Motion City Soundtrack's "Commit this to Memory" becomes "Commit this to Mammary"; Alkaline Trio's "From Here to Infirmary" becomes "From Here to the Nursery".
While trading out guitars for glockenspeil's might enrage some artists, Cole says the bands so far have been nothing but supportive, reposting and retweeting many tracks to share with fans. Sparrow Sleeps is even starting to become a recognizable name.
"We haven't had any bands in the pop-punk/emo genre contact us first, yet, but we are seeing as time goes by that more and more artists we contact are familiar with the name and what we do," says Cole. "This makes the initial contact a little easier, and also blows our minds when artists that we listen to still are like, 'Dude, yeah I've heard of you guys. Sounds interesting. Copying my manager in on this.'"
Cole says a new project is in the works with Anberlin and in 2016: creating an album of songs geared for toddlers. Because, as Sparrow grows up, so does the music.
"Sparrow is almost two-years-old now," Cole says. "We still play the tracks for her on rough nights where going to sleep is an extensive process, and they still work. But the albums definitely helped her best when she was just home from the hospital."
-- Matt Berical