Crocodiles

(Photo: courtesy of the artist)

Any doctor will tell you a good night’s sleep is important -- even if you’re a musician who performs late into the night. 

But a funny thing happens to people when they don’t sleep: Their brains work differently. They hear and see things in new ways. And that can help boost creativity. 

More Inside Track features from OpenAir:

The rock duo Crocodiles experienced this first-hand. Singer Brandon Welchez says he suffered from a long bout of insomnia.

"I just remember laying in bed like sweating and shaky and just feeling crazy," he says.
 
Career woes and a move to New York City didn’t help his condition. But Welchez says his insomnia did help his music. He wrote the song “Not Even In Your Dreams” after being awake for days. And he did it in just five minutes.

His musical partner Charles Rowell says he’s had similar experiences.

"Your brain shifts things around," he says. "I don't know. Music sounds different."

Crocodiles’ music does sound different on their latest album. The band says their insomnia made them interested in performing new genres.

Rowell points to disco. He says they found a lot of comfort in it during sleepless nights. 

"Most of disco music is about overcoming or declaring something," he says.

That music took their own songs to new places. Soon they had a new Crocodiles album finished. And they gave it a fitting title: “Dreamless.”

Welchez says that making the record became a sort of therapy for his insomnia and stress. 

"Whatever stupid anxieties we had about that were gone. And are gone now," he says.

And he says that they’re sleeping a lot better too. 

Subscribe to the Inside Track podcast for more new music discovery.