By Matthew Shriver
Alex Paquet is a 19-year-old freshman music major at OWU. He co-hosts the OWU radio show Infrequent Frequencies on Saturday evenings.
He’s currently pledging Chi Phi. He hosts a monthly open-mic night at Choffey’s Coffees and Confections in downtown Delaware.
Paquet leads a busy life, so it’s a wonder that he was able to record his debut album “Stay Quiet, Stay Ahead” in the midst of it all.
Paquet records and performs under the moniker Field Sleeper. He began playing guitar in the seventh grade, but it wasn’t until about two years ago he started writing the songs that appear on “Stay Quiet”—the first song he wrote would be “Winter Bus,” the album’s final track.
The songs weren’t finished until about a month and a half before he started recording, beginning with the song “Olentangy.”
“There’s a long spread of time as far as the origin of each song goes,” Paquet said.
Despite having no prior studio experience before recording his debut album as Field Sleeper, Paquet researched the topic heavily before embarking. He also said his experiences performing his songs helped greatly.
“I have experience with live sound for concerts, which has more similarities than one may initially realize,” he said. “It’s all about finding a ‘space’ for each voice/instrument; the listener should be able to clearly identify each track.”
Paquet began recording during the summer of 2012 and worked a bit during each break until winter, when the bulk of the recording took place.
Paquet’s music is quiet and calming. The lyrics are personal and the vocals are deep and soothing. “It’s easier to talk to yourself surrounded only by air,” he croons on “Skeletons.”
The album simultaneously chills the spine and comforts the soul. It’s the kind of album you want to listen to once on a cold walk, and then again inside, bundled up and warm, with a cup of coffee. Overall, the album evokes powerful emotions through its quiet melodies while staying subtlety ahead of its peers.
Paquet says he draws he influences from artists like The Antlers, The National and Bon Iver, and it definitely shows in his music; but he take the styles of his favorite groups and contorts them into something entirely his own.
Paquet’s live shows are just as, if not more, intimate than his recorded output.
He has performed at several open-mics at OWU and in Delaware. He opened for Columbus artist Dolfish in Peale Chapel in January and is planning a similar show with The Saturday Giant soon.
He plans on setting up shows at Beehive Books and Kafe Kerouac in Columbus, as well.
Paquet plans to re-record “Stay Quiet” in May at Old Son Studios in Columbus, but until then you can stream for free, or purchase the digital album at fieldsleeper.bandcamp.com.