Sleepy Wolf is a New Zealand-based indie folk duo featuring Karin Bettley on vocals and Sam Benge on guitar and backing vocals. All the songs are written by Karin while Sam develops the musical arrangements. Their sound is made unique by Karin’s soulful and timeless voice and well as Sam’s rich textured guitar playing.
The core of the album was recorded in just one day with the main vocal and guitar takes done live in one take as if they were playing in the living room like they have always done. Very little editing was done with all the added layers done in uninterrupted takes. Sam then played around with adding extra guitar layers including electric slide guitar, electric lead guitar, keyboards and baking vocals. Sam Prebble aka Bond Street Bridge was brought into to add violin on the tracks which has brought an extra dimension to the songs.
Sam Benge began his musical journey learning classical guitar which he took all the way through to completing a Bachelor of Music specializing in performance classical guitar. It was during his time at university that he met the members of Eightfold and recorded the album Bright Colours with producer Nigel Braddock. This album showcases his talents on nylon string guitar. Along the way Sam has recorded and composed music with SJD and Joost Langaveld which led to recording on Strawpeople’s album No New Messages. From 2003 to 2006 Sam moved to Australia and played with the band Metaphor which toured extensively up and down the East Coast playing Australian festivals and venues. It was in 2008 that Sam and Karin began working on Karin’s songs and developing the sound that they captured on their debut self titled album. Sam also composes music and writes his own songs that he has been working on with indie-folk artist Erin Cole-Baker. People remark on how versatile and creative he is with a range of stringed instruments including Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo and Bass. Sam also mentors Auckland based band “The Mutes (from Mars) whose members all have an intellectual disability. They are a fully functioning performance act that recorded their first album in 2012.
Since moving to Raglan from Auckland in 2006 Karin Bettley has been strongly involved in the arts community there collaborating with various musicians and artists. She draws people in with her songwriting and vocal style creating a mood and story that reflects her colourful character. In the past she has recorded with electronic based artists such as Epsilon Blue and Auckland based producer/musician Jamie Newman of Cinema 90 and Bright Child.