Vulfpeck, an LA-based funk jam band, is currently traveling around the world on a mostly sold-out tour. But, while the band is becoming known for their distinct sound, it was actually the sounds of silence that first put Vulfpeck on the map: In 2014, the quartet uploaded an album called "Sleepify" to Spotify. It featured 10 entirely silent tracks, cheekily titled "Z" through "Zzzzzzzzzz."
Fans streamed "Sleepify" enough times — primarily during the night — to fund a free tour. Spotify, however, wasn't quite so charmed by Vulfpeck's subversive take on bedtime music. The streaming service ended up pulling the album (but not before Vulfpeck exposed a loophole in Spotify's royalties model).
Since releasing the "most silent album ever recorded," Vulfpeck has returned to their roots in audible noise. Their third album, "Mr. Finish Line," is set to be released in November. Does the band ever play "Sleepify" when they need shuteye assistance? Nope, but Jack Stratton, the frontman, keyboardist and drummer, has a few tips for nodding off — although he's not sure they're worth following. "I'm not a great sleeper, so don't take my advice," Stratton told Van Winkle's. "But I am a good musician, so people value my opinion on any subject for no reason."
Stratton says that using the "calm" iPhone app, which requires keeping a bedtime gratitude journal, has helped him a lot with sleep. He also credits his diet for nights of solid rest, explaining that "becoming a regular bean eater (regularbeaneater.com) has stabilized my sleep more than any blackout curtain could."
And, when it comes to his bedtime playlist, Stratton prefers not to mix artists. Instead, he listens to the collected works of Claude Debussy, the French impressionist composer. "This album is fully mind blowing," said Stratton. "It's Debussy playing into a highly advanced player piano, and they re-recorded it recently so you can actually hear Debussy playing in high fidelity."
Check out the classical album that's become Stratton's sleep soundtrack, here: