The band was started in 2005 by multi-instrumentalist Keith D and amplifier-obsessed guitarist Mike Gussis. They recorded their first full-length album "Mare Vaporum" as a duo in 2006, a simply-produced yet powerful set of songs recorded in a friend's basement digital studio. The opening track, "Over The Antifreeze Rainbow," a dynamic & emotional seventeen-minute epic about the narrator's final contemplative moments while exiled in an abandoned spacecraft, set the stage for what would be Arctic Sleep's sound and imagery... slow-paced, melodic, spacious soundscapes that dramatically drift between quiet, beautiful stargazing and infinite, hypnotic loudness. Ghostly, whisky-soaked vocals and dreamlike lyrics that lurk above a swamp of slow-motion drumming and down-tuned riffing, creating an almost psychedelic atmosphere designed to drift the listener far away from reality... imagery of nature and the cosmos... songs about light and shadow, life and death, beauty and sadness.
After forming a full band and doing a handful of live appearances over the next year, the group disbanded while members persued other interests. During this time, Keith wrote and produced the second long-playing Arctic Sleep record completely solo, 2009's "Abysmal Lullabies" which was met with critical acclaim. Recorded with esteemed audio engineer Joel Wanasek, the album was of high production value and more freedom in the studio allowed Keith the addition of more drone, acoustic guitars, and cello. Following the album's release, Keith began to search for musicians to form a live band and was soon joined by drummer Nick Smalkowski (Sally, Builder/Destroyer). Keith subsequently asked co-founder Gussis to return and share in the songwriting and guitar duties for new material, to which he obliged. After a successful live performance with the newly-reformed Arctic Sleep in early 2010, Keith and Gussis began to collaborate on material for what would become the band's third album.
In November of 2010, Arctic Sleep released its third album, "Earth To Earth" which earned Arctic Sleep a small but very
devoted core of fans spanning the globe. It was around this time that frontman/founder Keith D moved to Milwaukee but continued to keep the band fully active.
Arctic Sleep's cult fanbase continues to grow, not only appealing to music enthusiasts in the United States but all over the world.
Relying on a successful pre-sale funded by loyal hardcore fans, in which the fans received the album before public release, the band was able to return to the studio in the summer of 2012 to forge their heaviest, most epic, and most approachable album yet, "Arbors," which was released October 2nd of 2012.
In mid 2013, Keith and Gussis made the decision to part ways with drummer Smalkowski due to creative differences, and to continue to forge ahead as a two-piece. Almost immediately afterward Keith released "Realms," which was an album of ambient drone soundscapes, available to fans on a free or pay-what-you-want basis.
Arctic Sleep's sixth album "Passage Of Gaia" was released on August 21st, 2014, and is the band's most complex, dynamic, and crushing album yet.
In early 2017, Keith and Mike decided it best to part ways, remaining friends but no longer being in a band together. Keith D, Arctic Sleep's sole constant member, has no plans for forming another live lineup for the band, but will continue to release studio albums. He is currently preparing material for another full-length album with plans to enter the studio in 2018.