|NYC-based dance-pop artist, Michael Tapper, who was the previous drummer of We Are Scientists, Bishop Allen, Fool’s Gold and Yellow Ostrich, has a new project: Practice. He has just shared a new video for his debut single, “Sleep In My Clothes,”. The song and video were both made pre-2020 madness, and yet the themes of isolation and self-quarantine root it (maybe too much) into current reality.|
Tapper says, “It’s about remembering a time when you would get up and go out the door and be a go-getter, and now you get up and don’t really have anywhere to go or anything to do and you want to escape, but you’re at a loss.” Reflecting on it now, he adds, “It’s sort of how you might feel on a bad day in quarantine. But you know, sometimes connecting with a song that speaks to how you’re feeling when you’re down can feel good, too, like commiserating. And in the end, it’s kind of sad but kind of hopeful about wanting to make the world better, even if you feel kinda helpless to do so.“
He adds, “Even though I had written this song and made the video well before this pandemic, that made sense to me because I wrote each during an intense period of isolation and uncertainty. I wrote “Sleep In My Clothes” just after I had quit my old band, which had been my job and career, holed up in an apartment in an unfamiliar city.”
This year has been hard on everyone, of course, and Tapper is no stranger to the impact of COVID-19. He says, “Like everyone, coronavirus has upended my life and consumed probably the majority of my waking energy for the past month or so. My wife is a doctor in Manhattan, so we started quarantining before most people (when she’s not at work), concerned that she might bring it home from the hospital and not wanting to spread it to our friends or neighborhood. Our fears were founded because we did get it early, but thankfully our symptoms were mild. During this quarantine time, I was able to finish up preparing this music videos for release. As I showed it to a few people, one friend mentioned that it embodies things we’re feeling during this isolation period. As one friend put it: “the vibe of the “Sleep In My Clothes” video is how I feel on a bad day during this quarantine — crying my mascara off (if I even had the will to put any on).”
Other than his naked backside, the video also features Tapper’s beard, which did in fact, receive MTV’s Beard of the Year” award for 2005 and 2006. Psychedelic distortion in reality through color, and texture echo the song it’s with a mixture of sadness and hope and hinges on an absurd, dreamlike vibe.
On the video, he adds: “The video starts very literally with me waking up in all of my clothes and walking out the door, which is the first verse of the song, but then takes it a step further by diving into a pool fully clothed. Later, the character experiences a sort of baptismal rebirth transformation, ending up completely naked, which is a literal reference to the lyrics but also a metaphor for honesty and vulnerability, which is what’s happening lyrically at the same time.”
He adds. “I always like the image of people jumping into the water in all of their clothes as if it’s completely normal, just because it feels so wrong. Surprisingly, the thing that felt most wrong about swimming fully clothed was having socks on. There’s something extra wrong about that. I also liked making a scenario where being naked is actually the correct way to be as opposed to being fully clothed, because in almost any other real-world situation, being fully clothed is not only the norm but if you’re naked you’ll go to jail.”