Comprised of core duo singer/songwriter Max Greenhalgh and multi-instrumentalist Bryce Outcault, along with a rotating cast of musicians and collaborators, the Los Angeles-based indie pop act Inspired & the Sleep first received attention across Southern California with the release of their debut album, 2014’s Eyelid Kid, an album comprised of dream pop-leaning material. Since then the act has developed a reputation for a sound that incorporates traditional indie rock instrumentation with electronics and vinyl sampling paired with lyrics that thematically touch upon intimacy, introspection and love both lost and found. And as a result, the duo have been featured on a number of sites across the blogosphere including Spin, Vice Noisey, Pigeons and Planes, Hilly Dilly, this site and others. Adding to a growing profile, Inspired & the Sleep has opened for a number of national touring acts including Switchfoot, Sure Sure, Colony House, Mating Ritual, The Dodos, SALES, Moon Taxi, Cymbals Eat Guitars and others.

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve written about them; but their latest single “Stay” like much of their previously released material over the past few years is centered around a glittering, dance floor groove, arpeggiated synths and a soaring hook. Sonically the song brings JOVM mainstays Summer Heart and Cut Copy to mind — with a swooning, vulnerable need. As the duo explain in press notes, “‘Stay’ is our piece about swooning in the throes of affection. It doesn’t seem to matter where a lover stands in your life, if the emotions are there you can be convinced to stay the night.”



Comprised of longtime friends Lauren Morgan and Jordan Shih, the Orlando, FL indie pop duo SALES can trace its origins to when Morgan and Shih met in high school Latin class. In fact, as the story goes, the duo bonded over a mutual love of pop music and despite coming from completely different musical backgrounds — Shih was an electronic music artist and producer, who learned to play guitar while Morgan was a punk rock guitarist, who learned how to use Ableton and other programming, essentially finding a way to synthesize their influences into a familiar yet unique sound. However, SALES didn’t start in earnest until 2012, when the duo invited their friends to like their music page. They then released their debut single “renee,” and split the costs on the first pressing of their 7 inch vinyl single “renee”/”tonka time.” Quickly building upon the buzz they started to receive, the duo self-released and self-promoted a series of singles (i.e., “chinese new year,” “getting it on” and “vow“) before releasing their 2014 debut EP, which was released to critical praise from the likes of Hype Machine, who named them “Ones to Watch,” Pitchfork, and from BBC Radio 6.

The Orlando, FL-based duo self-released their full-length, self-titled debut last year and because of the strength of their previously released singles, as well as album singles “ivy,” “big sis” and “jamz,” the Floridian pop duo have amassed more than 33 million streams. Pretty impressive for a fiercely independent and DIY-leaning band, who write, record, mix and master all of their material in their bedroom studio.

“Talk a Lot,” the duo’s first single of this year, is also the first bit of new material they’ve released since their full-length debut, and as the duo’s Lauren Morgan mentions in press notes, their latest single was produced with “a few new toys.” But interestingly enough, the single will further cement the Orlando-based duo’s reputation for crafting breezy and infectious pop that’s incredibly heartfelt and gushingly earnest — and in an age of sneering irony, and disingenuous, pre-packaged pop product, played on your multi-national conglomerate radio station, the Floridian duo are a welcome breath of fresh air.

The Orlando, FL-based duo will be embarking on a lengthy tour throughout the fall. Check out tour dates below.


Tour Dates 

SEP 14 / DENVER, CO / Globe Hall
SEP 17 / LOS ANGELES, CA / The Echo
SEP 20 / SAN FRANCISCO, CA / Great American Music Hall
SEP 22 / KALAMAZOO, MI / Audiotree Music Festival
SEP 23 / CHAMPAIGN, IL / Pygmalion Festival
OCT 3 / ATLANTA, GA / The Masquerade
OCT 5 / HOUSTON, TX / The Secret Group
OCT 6 / SAN ANTONIO, TX / Paper Tiger
OCT 7 / AUSTIN, TX / Barracuda
OCT 8 / DALLAS, TX / Club Dada
OCT 9 / NORMAN, OK / Opolis
OCT 12 / TALLAHASSEE, FL / Club Downunder
NOV 30 / SEATTLE, WA / Neumos *
DEC 1 / VANCOUVER, BC / Biltmore Cabaret *
DEC 3 / PORTLAND, OR / Aladdin Theater *
DEC 6 / SANTA CRUZ, CA / The Catalyst *
DEC 8 / SAN DIEGO, CA / The Irenic *
DEC 14 / PHOENIX, AZ / The Rebel Lounge
* w/ Chaos Chaos

Live Concert Photography: SALES at Villain 10/12/16

Live Concert Photography: SALES at Villain 10/12/16, by Kellie Zhao The Florida-based band SALES, consisting of Jordan Shih (guitar) and Lauren Morgan (vocals, guitar), writes pop music with a very distinctive melodic line. The instrumentation […]