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INTERVIEW: Year of Suns

Photo by Michael Racanelli

Hi Chris, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi, thank you! Things have been great recently, thanks for asking.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Hard To Forget”?

“Hard To Forget” channels early Elliott Smith along with Angel Olsen, whom I’ve fallen in love with over the past several years. I wanted to recreate the ambiance of a bedroom recording, and I think “Hard To Forget” captures that in a way.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

There’s not an event that sticks out in my mind, but it was written during a period where I was deeply confused about my life following several deaths in the family. “Hard To Forget” focuses specifically on having conflicting feelings about a string of intimate relationships I probably should not have been involved with.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

There were plans to do a video for “Hard To Forget,” but I felt more strongly about “Plain Sight” as a visual piece.

The single comes off your new album Songs For Silence – what’s the story behind the title?

I wanted a title that implied longing for something that felt completely out of reach, and maybe even unattainable. I moved to Los Angeles with the hopes of finding refuge from the events I mentioned earlier, but it turned out to be anything but that.

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing process was quick, as I wanted to keep the record as economical as possible. I had several collaborators, notably my engineer David Burris who was a huge help in fleshing out this EP. We recorded the songs in his studio in downtown LA and I had no qualms about giving an unfinished work to David while allowing him the freedom to compose what he felt the tracks needed. We make a good team in the sense that I have trouble finding layers and textures to add to the backbone of the song.

What role does California play on this record?

California had an indirect influence on this album, only that it served as a landscape for chaos. This definitely doesn’t sound like a California record to me, but maybe others will find moments of optimism that tend to manifest in records made here.

How haunting were you seeking for this album to be?

It was my intention to make the album as haunting as possible without it sounding like a Sparklehorse record or something to that effect. If you haven’t seen the album cover, it was cribbed from an article that had “ten of the most haunting images found on Google Maps,” haha.

What aspect of chaos and anxiety did you get to explore on this material?

I never imagined Songs for Silence to be an exploration of anxiety, but rather an attempt to find solace and understanding. The kind of anxiety I was dealing with, and to a certain extent am still dealing with today, stems from the irrational fear that everything is fleeting and tragic. I will say there’s a bit of resolve with the last track on the record, “Autumn Light.” It represents the part of me that somehow manages to reconcile with these anxieties and understand that they won’t last forever.

Any plans to hit the road?

No solid plans yet, hopefully I’ll be able to tour in late 2017.

What else is happening next in Year of Suns’ world?

I’m planning on releasing more material next year.  Also, as I mentioned we’ve just finished shooting a video for “Plain Sight,” so be on the lookout for that!

Listen here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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