More than likely, Rupert Angeleyes is a local musical project that doesn't mean anything to you (yet). But that's no testament to a lack of musicianship, commitment or enterprise. Rather, it's simply that creator Kyle Sobczak (of Sleeping in the Aviary) has maintained his solo project somewhat under-the-radar since his debut tape release If You Touch Me, I Will Love You in 2008. In fact, when it comes to promoting himself he's the first to humorously admit it that he's done "a piss poor job of it." But on the heels of his strongest release to date, When the Sangria Dies, Sobczak leaves nearly inarguable evidence that his music deserves the positive attention that thus far has remained largely unsung.[jump]
"I'm usually the guy who supports the other guys in the band," Sobczak said. "And I think I'm probably better at that. But I really love making songs of my own so this was my secret project."
On When The Sangria Dies, however, his love for and inherent skill at songwriting is left far from secret as the tape soars confidently through twelve tracks of intriguing, insightful and multi-faceted pop. It's not all that surprising that Sobczak has a solid sensibility for well-crafted pop song structure, especially if you've ever been to a Sleeping in the Aviary show. But what takes this more electronic-oriented project to different depths is the highlight of his lyricism.
"I think the lyrics are definitely the best on this one," Sobczak said. "I really wanted the songwriting to come through and that's why I spent so much time (3 years) on this one. I wrote over 50 songs and then narrowed it down over time."
And their appeal is simple: charm. All short tracks (most songs are under the three-minute mark), he's able to capture experience that's vitally human with a sense of humor and intimacy. Though ultimately, Sobczak makes music for himself, through his own lens of experience, his means of articulating is accessible and completely win you over in songs such as the title track: "When the sangria dies will you still respect me? Will you think I'm sexy? Will you ever text me?"
An admitted fan of both Roy Orbison and Guided by Voices, more dreamy, experimental tracks like "Karen" and "Lucille" highlight a similar instrumental diversity. There's a lot going on in the album musically, but that's kind of the point.
"It all sounded super sloppy when I was making it, "Sobczak said. " But I think that's okay. I was trying to polish some turds."
Ever the perfectionist, Sobzcak remains assured that his next Rupert Angeleyes release will be even better than the last. And in addition to dreams of touring Japan, his hopes for the future are clear, albeit somewhat mysterious. But that's how Rupert Angeleyes prefers it.
"My ultimate goal is to make a masterpiece," Sobczak said. "But then that's the question: what is a masterpiece?" Lets cross our fingers that he shares it when he finds out.
When The Sangria Dies is available for streaming and purchase on the Rupert Angeleyes Bandcamp:
Rupert Angeleyes plays with JT and the Sloppy Seconds, Sherbetty, and Buffalo Moon at Hell's Kitchen at 9 p.m. on Friday, September 14 at Hell's Kitchen. Click here.
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