Strange Party

Sleepwalking Through Life: Limited 'Roman Beatnik' Splatter Vinyl LP


Release date: 9 August, 2024

Futurismo proudly present a work of lost musical wonderment; the never before released album Sleepwalking Through Life by New York luminaries Strange Party.

In the downtown clubs of New York, 1980, this stylish group of eccentric and talented artists and musicians gathered under the umbrella of musical cohort and downtown legend Klaus Nomi (featured on a track here) to create a multi-sensory latin-infused new wave performance art-pop extravaganza the Soho press once called ‘the best party band in New York’.

‘Sleepwalking Through Life’ is a snapshot of a time in New York when art, music, fashion and clublife where not mutually exclusive entities. Described as Dada disco, Strange Party’s allure was not just down the prowess of the skilled musicians, but also the left field aesthetics of their visual themes. Each show would be tailored around a concept, whether that be Mermaids on Heroin or Beatnik Romans, there was profound willingness to turn art into fun through performance rock ‘n’ roll.

Strange Party’s unique take on the world was also relayed in the ensemble groups unique membership. Counted among its alumni was Joey Arias (art-star famed for his performance alongside Bowie and Nomi on SNL, and now praised drag performer), Tony Frere (commercial producer, Kenneth Anger collaborator and jazz singer), George Elliott (composer, formerly of the band Come On), Page Wood (illustrator and Bloomingdales bag designer) plus several other members of severe and individual talents. There was also the operatic new wave icon Klaus Nomi of course, while not in the band, his live band was made up mostly of Strange Party band members.

Pulling in from a spectrum of jazz, funk, disco, latino and punk, the bands influence on other artists of the time can certainly be heard. Talking Heads were there. Listen to ‘I Hear the...’ for example, and you will undoubtedly draw comparisons to ‘This Must Be the Place’, but that was downtown NY, a hive of creativity and cross pollination and Strange Party are a fine example of exactly that. Their innate blend of musicianship, dynamite vocals, theatrics, style and wit, ensured they were equally well received playing in clubs like Danceteria for Manhattan’s scene-makers and intelligentsia as they were playing for the clientele of discerning restaurants. Which is why Sleepwalking Through Life is such a rare gem; a recording over 40 years after the fact just as intriguing and relevant as it surely was then. History may have been raked over several times already, yet here we are, something brand new from the past.

Vinyl LP