Overslept has grown a lot since its late 2013 conception. In the past five years, the band has grown not only in size but also as a musical force to be reckoned with in the Denver scene. The indie-rock group has played stages — including one night of crowd surfing at a taco shop — all across the country, sharing the stage with noteworthy names like Sorority Noise and Drake Bell. Despite the wild fun the group has on tour they feel most at home when they’re playing local shows — they’ve fondly referred to the local scene as “hella tight, possibly even hella nice.”
At first, Overslept consisted solely of vocalist Elias Armao, who wrote most of the band’s first album. Armao found the rest of the members after playing a show with Mickey Postilion in 2014. Postilion left the band he was with at the time to become Overslept’s guitarist. The pair then set off on recruiting the other half of the band. Postilion already knew drummer Corban Roberts from classes they had taken together. Bassist Evan Zeller was picked out of the crowd at a Modern Baseball show after Postilion noticed his Circa Survive tattoo. The three musicians joined Armao to complete Overslept and none of them looked back. “I don’t know what we could do if we weren’t trying to do this,” said Postilion in an interview with 303 Magazine.
The band released their first album I’ve Been Keeping to Myself at the end of 2015. The album was a reflection of Armao’s feelings and experiences at the time. The release show was a huge success and drew much a bigger audience than the band expected. It was at that show that the band adopted a memorable monicker that they now use to define their sound. “At our release show,” said Armao, “a guy in the front row — I started to sing the first track on the first record, which is like a light little intro and then a singing part — [he] goes ‘Oh god it’s Ed Sheeran the band,’ just so disdainful. He was not excited about it.”
Despite that one guy’s disdain for their sound, Overslept has adopted “Ed Sheeran the band” to describe their sound every chance they get. Their sound is largely inspired by combining gospel and singer-songwriter melodies with the energy of post-hardcore and metal instrumentals. They top it all off with serious lyrics that challenge their audience to examine their place in the world — the group self-describes their sound as “indie-rock with sensitive breakdowns.” While Overslept may write serious existential music, they clearly have a great sense of humor.
Overslept’s unique influences include everything from Radiohead to Circa Survive and ultimately results in a uniquely beautiful sound. It affords them the ability to play with both heavy bands as well as at pop festivals such as Arizona’s “Pop Culture Music Festival” where they recently opened for Nickelodeon star —turned pop artist — Drake Bell. The bands disarming pop sound also serves as an approachable medium for their serious lyrics.
Overslept’s music is largely about “trying to challenge people to think about their lives,” said Roberts. The first record focused mostly on self-discovery. However, with their new music, the band wants to take that self-discovery and explore the feelings that resulted from it — but they still plan to challenge their audience.
While I’ve Been Keeping to Myself is an internal reflection that vocalist Armao wrote mostly on his own, the new music Overslept is working on now is a reflection of where the band has been. For the past couple of years the band has been working on a new record that they plan to release this spring. “That first record is a lot about me trying to figure out who I am in the social world,” said Armao. “The newer record is ironically about taking an album called I’ve Been Keeping to Myself and not keeping it to yourself for a long time, and touring on it and telling everybody about it and playing it every night and how it makes you feel about things.
Overslept’s newest single “Fictions” serves as a bridge between the insecurities of the first album and the new album, which is all about letting go of those same anxieties. “The chorus is talking about how there’s always a possibility that you could’ve been something different or done something different. And it’s about learning how to not be scared and haunted by the possibilities that you pass by,” said Postilion. “Going forward in a direction and committing to something is scary, but you have to do it because that’s the way you move forward or else you’re like Peter Pan — never growing up and keeping all of your possibilities open but never taking them.”
In the past friends of the band have said that Overslept’s music is emotionally draining, which isn’t surprising considering the challenging nature of their lyrics. After a few years of touring and interacting with fans who feel this way the group still chooses to challenge their audience to think about who they really are. However, they’ve also learned that not everything has a deeper meaning behind it. “Sometimes there isn’t a grand meaning of life and you just do things because you want to, or because you don’t have anything else to do,” said Armao.
In honor of the three year anniversary of I’ve Been Keeping to Myself Overslept will be revisiting their first album and playing it in its entirety later this month. They’ll also be premiering their recent single “Fictions” live. An exclusive acoustic album will be available at that show and part of the proceeds from the record sales will go to the Denver Coalition for the Homeless. That album will feature two acoustic songs from Overslept, as well as songs from local bands Silver & Gold, Postcards and Tyto Alba.