Pajamas Talks Upcoming Album “Feather Bed”

Pajamas keyboardist Owen Kellenberger described their style as “exploratory rock.” It’s a good descriptor for the type of music the four man group plays, which contains a smorgasbord of influences from across almost the whole cannon of American music tradition: impressively meshing together different genres ranging from funk, to blues, to fusion. 

“This is definitely our most intriguing compositional album to date,” drummer Graham Low said. “Our first one we released in 2018, which was essentially all of the songs we’ve been playing in our on and off trio as we lived in different towns at the time and we were in college and out of college. All the songs we worked on ended up on our first album Onesie. Then we did a four song live-EP … called You’re Awake. The addition of the keyboards and us growing as musicians has really changed even those original songs. … With all that in mind it’s by far our most intriguing, in depth, harmonically and thematically interesting material that we’ve put out so far.”

Their new album, Feather Bed, will consist of six tracks. All four of the band members write music. Although the most recent edition to the band, Kellenberger, hasn’t gotten a song in this album, he will in future recordings.

Guitarist Nick Orr said he is excited about this new album because it represents a much more mature version of their band than their original album or EP did. 

“It wasn’t thematically Pajamas music, whereas I feel that [with] the new album … all of our writing has morphed around the sound that we’ve found together. I think it is pretty damn representative of what we are trying to do musically,” Orr said.

Pajamas tours regularly, including at a recent show at Ziggy’s in Ypsilanti. The band’s rocky overall sound is nuanced, feeling almost like each long song is an interesting, in-depth conversation between the band and audience. 

During the January show, it was clear that personality abounds very distinctly with each individual song.

 “I think this band continues to evolve and get better and better,” attendee Derrick Weber said after the show. “They added keys a couple of years ago. The addition has continued to strengthen … their improvisation and let Nick as a guitarist really roam outside of having to lead them melodically, which is so welcome for what they do. It’s such a blast to watch them grow and evolve.”

Most of their songs are eight to ten minutes, but some range into prog rock territory – one is as long as 17 minutes. The packed crowd cheerfully chatted over drinks as all of the band’s varied influences weaved in and out of each other seamlessly.

The final release date for Feather Bed has yet to be announced. The band recorded the album by plugging all instruments but the drums into a computer, to record sound as clearly as possible into the album. Low played his drums in an isolated location, recorded on microphones, because there’s no way to plug a drum set into a computer recording.

Bassist Dan Schuler explained that they did this together, “To try and maintain that live feel that we get, that people [have come] to know as our sound, but also to get nice clean isolated drum takes that we could then come back over and record our more clean performances as individual pieces of the puzzle.”

Pajamas seem to have perfected seamless live transitions from one song to another on stage. To find out if their transitions are just as seamless in Feather Bed, you’ll have to purchase it.

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