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  • Writer's pictureBehind the Song


A soundtrack for restless nights. Couchsleepers was formed by neuroscientist & songwriter Harrison Wood Hsiang, uniting under a single name a sprawling collective of musicians and artists. The band made its debut with the nine-track Only When It’s Dark in 2019. On the road, Hsiang is joined by frequent collaborators Mike Nunziante, Brendan Ronan, Max Shashoua, and Gloria Breck.

For fans who have never heard your music, can you pick three words to describe it?! If three words just aren't enough then tell us more!!

Okay, it's more than three words, but how about "music for after the party's over and everyone's gone home"?

What is your favorite part about being an artist? Is it songwriting, performing, recording, something else?) Tell us why.

There's something really magical about performing a song live and in the same room as someone — I guess music doesn't just exist in a vacuum, right? It happens between the performer and the audience. We've especially been missing that since covid has hemmed in a lot of live performance opportunities. The other thing that comes to mind is hearing from fans who've found our music genuinely meaningful. Hearing that a song we made helped someone through a tough time or formed the soundtrack to a memorable moment — it's amazing every time. I'm always reminded how lucky I am that these songs have found an audience out there. Being a musician is a really cool, special thing.

Can you tell us what being in the recording studio is like for you?

Well, mostly the studio is my little two-bedroom here in Vermont. Recording is always a blast — it's so exciting to explore new, unusual sounds and bounce ideas off one another about how we might approach a certain song. We've been lucky to record in a lot of cool places, too; occasional trips out to friends' homes, farmhouses in more rural parts of the state. We stretch out on the couches and sleep late, take runs and ab circuits together, cook huge feasts and record late into the night. It's really wonderful.

Okay, this a fun question. When you are not doing music, what else do you enjoy doing?

My great loves are reading and drawing. I've recently discovered a new love for chess — I'm terrible at it, but I think the strategy and dynamicism are fascinating. When we've got the whole band together, we spend a lot of time goofing off, playing board games, and cooking especially. But honestly, we still spend most of our down time on music — on the road, off it, whatever. It's still playtime for us.

Who do you admire most in the music scene today and why?

I have an incredible amount of respect and admiration for Blake Mills. As a producer he's just such a pillar for me. His ear for what a song needs, his commitment to exciting sound design and unique playing techniques, the absolute creativity in tracking... I'd love to pick his brain about production someday. And, I mean, he's an absolute monster of a guitarist.

Can you tell us what song you've written that is the most emotional and describe the meaning behind it?

Ah. Well, "Creature Comforts" is pretty vulnerable. This whole upcoming EP, Monsters, has really been an extended exploration of my worst qualities, a version of what it's like to be me. Or like, my shadow. And in "Creature Comforts" there's a very desperate jealousy and self-righteousness. I mean, I don't really think of myself as a very jealous or self-righteous person, but there have been times when I felt completely compelled by those impulses and it was scary; possessive and careless. It's not the kind of mindset I want to inhabit. The other one might be "Sweet Dreams", a short interlude from our first record (Only When It's Dark). They're both love songs, of a sort.

Are you working on any new material right now or what's in the works for the upcoming year?

Yes! We have a lot of exciting plans for the coming year, starting with this EP! It looks like there will safely be the chance to pursue some live performances and artistic collaborations this summer. And more definite stuff to follow that! For now, all I'll say is that we're back in the studio...

Tell us where fans can access your music.

Stream on Spotify


#Couchsleepers #BehindtheSong

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