Notes From The Artist: Introducing SADSUN
SADSUN are an emerging moody synth-pop duo from Newcastle, UK who have already received support from BBC Introducing and Line Of Best Fit.
If you are fans of electronic, alternative pop then SADSUN will soon be entering your playlists, particularly following the release of their new idyllic sunset drive single "Heads or (Tails)".
The duo was founded by talented musicians/producers Simon Atkinson and Aimy Miller, who first emerged on the scene earlier this year with debut single "Control", a dark, synth-pop track that garnered attention from around the world as well as significant support from closer to home.
Prior to the release of their second single, out today (03/05/19), I caught up with the duo to discuss this track, their background and to find out what we can expect to hear from the pair later on in the year.
Tell me a little bit about your background. How did you first break into the music scene?
Atkinson: Believe it or not we both used to play in death metal bands, we met each other through that music scene and through playing shows together. We grew up listening to all kinds of music. I think particularly with our generation the notion of genres being restrictive is a fast fading idea, so we soon discovered that we both shared a huge passion for pop and alternative music. Our previous bands came to end and we knew that we wanted to pursue music like this, so we started writing together and naturally developing the sound that we wanted to achieve. A few years later we arrived at a place that we were really happy with and decided to take the project public. We recorded and co-produced some tracks with Anthony Snowden last year and then released our debut single "Control", along with the public launch of the band back in February.
As you mentioned, you released "Control" earlier this year, how pleased were you with the reaction you received?
Atkinson: The reception was amazing! We’d been working on SADSUN behind closed doors for so long, we’re talking 3-4 years here, so it was very cathartic to finally take our first step into the public eye. When you’re working in private, you don’t have many forms of feedback or validation, other than close friends and each other, so it can sometimes get to the point where you really end up questioning whether what you’re doing is any good. Seeing people from all over the world enjoy "Control" and embrace what we’re doing was really great, and gave us that extra boost in confidence that we’re on the right path.
"I think particularly with our generation the notion of genres being restrictive is a fast fading idea, so we soon discovered that we both shared a huge passion for pop and alternative music." - Simon Atkinson (SADSUN)
Who are some of your most notable musical inspirations?
Miller: We love artists like The Night Game, PVRIS, The Midnight, LANY and MUNA. These are artists that are putting out forward-thinking pop music. But we love all the classics too; Tears For Fears, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush and Go West.
Do you have any particular habits or routines you both go through to get inspired to write and produce music?
Atkinson: I think that we’re both quite visual-oriented. I’m a freelance graphic designer, so sometimes a piece of artwork for a track that doesn’t even exist yet can really inspire a piece of music out of me. Aimy has a fantastic mind for film, she’ll often conceptualise a music video right alongside the song as she’s writing it, so both of those ideas influence and inspire each other as they grow in parallel. But we’re just as easily influenced by visual cues as we are musical ones.
Are there any particular aspects of the process you enjoy more than others?
Atkinson: We love that initial realisation of a musical idea and the excitement that comes with it, forming that into a song. Then comes the frustrating slog of re-writes and edits, trying to really nail it and make that idea into the best version, but then once you crack it, it’s back to being ecstatic again. Bringing that song into a studio is also really exciting and one of our favourite processes, giving it all of the bells and whistles it deserves. It’s great to see a song come to life through the final production stages.
Your new single “Heads or (Tails)” is out on Friday (03/05/19), you must be really excited for people to hear it! How much work has gone into making this record?
Miller: The original demo for this track was written way back in 2016. Having virtually no previous experience in this style of music, it was one of the first tracks that made us really feel like we were on the right track. We went through a bunch of variations and re-writes of it until finally settling, we then took that version into the studio and co-produced it with our friend Anthony Snowden in 2018. Anthony really helped us bring it to life and develop it into what you hear today. We’re very excited to eventually share it with the world!
"Heads or (Tails)" refers to day to day struggles and how our feelings/moods can shift quickly, was it a challenging task to write the lyrics for this track?
Miller: The song was written at a time where I was in a lot of pain physically and emotionally, but the lyrics came to me very naturally. I didn’t have to dig deep, everything flowed and it was actually more cathartic than challenging.
How would you describe this track and your sound for those who haven’t heard your music yet?
Atkinson & Miller: Summertime pop drowning in melancholy.
"Having virtually no previous experience in this style of music, it was one of the first tracks that made us really feel like we were on the right track." - Aimy Miller (SADSUN)
What can we expect from you next? A few more singles or is a debut EP on the horizon?
Atkinson: We have a debut EP planned for release sometime this summer, which we’ll hopefully be able to announce shortly. We’ve got some very cool plans for the visual side of that release which we’re really looking forward to getting our teeth stuck into. Other than that, we’re currently working on our live set for our debut show as SADSUN, which is super exciting, so be sure to follow us on our socials and keep an eye out for details on that!