NXNE Review: Sleepy Vikings, June 17, The Boat

Toronto – Picture if you will … a viking.  Ready to conquer, to pillage … always in search of a new challenge, a new adventure … but there’s one problem. This viking is sleepy. This is the perfect metaphor for North By Northeast. The sleep deprived, brain-addled music fan stumbles from venue to venue, searching for that next big fix, the next great band, all while fighting the fact that they’ve been up ’til 4:00 the previous night. We are all sleepy vikings, my friends. 

Sleepy Vikings are a Tampa based band who play a hazy, jangly, shoegazy brand of music that can go from gently strummed tunes to a full on aural assault.  Their myspace page describes them as indie/southern rock/shoegaze and I guess that works as well as anything.  Actually, the southern rock tag might work better than I thought. As I listen to their songs after the fact, I realized that Julian Conner’s vocals on “Dear Long Distance” remind me a bit of fellow Floridian Tom Petty. I don’t quite recall if they played that song though.  They definitely did play “Flashlight Tag,” a somewhat haunting tune which highlighted singer/keyboardist/occasional snaredrum player Tessa McKenna’s lovely voice. The band closed off the set with a pretty good cover of The Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind.”

I spoke briefly with one of the guitarists after their set as I noticed she was wearing a t-shirt that said “Peterbilt Tampa.” “Is that a trucking t-shirt?’ I asked. She replied that her uncle (and I think maybe some other family members) was a trucker. I told her that I could hear the truck influence in their music. She laughed but I’m sure she wondered what the hell I was talking about. So did I for that matter.

Posted on by Paul in Everything