Meet The Sunday Estate, who emerge a really exciting force with Pray For Rain
The Sydney group - fresh from a run of three singles last year - release a new one, with a pair of shows next month to celebrate.
If you've had your eyes and ears on the Sydney live music space, then The Sunday Estate are probably a group you're well-acquainted with. They made a debut on the live stage back in 2019 with work they'd spent over a year developing and refining, something we eventually saw with a self-titled collection of three tracks littered throughout 2020; Let's Stop Pretending, Give Me (Something) and I Don't Wanna Be Alone being testaments to the blood, sweat and tears poured into The Sunday Estate, even so early on in their careers.
As you can maybe expect then, the trio of singles proved to be a breakthrough moment for the band. It introduced The Sunday Estate and everything that fuels their work, from the themes that often reside in their acute lyricism to the broad spectrum of textures and influences that inform their swaying alt-rock/indie-like sound; one that fits perfectly amongst their home of Mirror Music Group, and the other acts - Gang Of Youths, Middle Kids, Clea, Sloan Peterson and Charlie Collins - they represent.
In 2021, The Sunday Estate are well and truly an act worth keeping an eye on and their new single Pray For Rain proves that becoming a fan of the group is bound to pay off in the year ahead. It's the exact type of slick, indie-rock-pop that The Sunday Estate are sure to become known for in the year ahead, picking off where the past singles left off as they combine a captivating hook and striding melodies with darker undertones that hint towards their emotive lyricism, and how they break down their surrounds through contrasting bright/dark indie-pop.
This contrast really peaks on Pray For Rain, even if it may take a couple of listens and a bit of explanation to work out. On the surface, it's bright-eyed and sun-swept; triumphant with everything that captures The Sunday Estate at their potential as an act in 2021, bound to festival stages to come. Underneath that, however, is something darker and more on-edge; a cathartic and dystopian view of the world and its many environmental and political issues, influenced by the state of Australia amongst the bushfire crisis in early-2020.
We'll let the group talk about the song and its meaning a little more themselves, but The Sunday Estate really sell it with Pray For Rain, and if you aren't paying attention, chances are you're going to be left behind.
Take a dive into the single and its official video clip below, and underneath that, introduce yourself to the group and their work. If you're a fan, be sure to grab tickets to their forthcoming show at Sydney's Waywards on March 18th, with tickets to both the early and late shows on sale now.
Tell us about yourself?
I’ve been in love with music ever since I was a kid and knew that I would have to do everything I could to have it be a part of my life. I’d always been playing guitar and singing and things really clicked in terms of a band when I met Sven at this retail job in Topshop and I knew we would have to do music together. We found the rest of the members just as friends and it was more important that we were friends first so even though none of us really even owned instruments we’ve just been making it work since!
What’s your music like? What does it sound like? What kind of themes does it usually cover?
I often want to show the happier or more positive side of sad topics or present them in a format that’s universal and relatable. I usually just pull from my own life and often the anxieties I’m having because I want people to feel like they’re seeing me and they can make their own assessments about how they feel about what they’re hearing in the songs.
A lot of lyrics in our songs take place in homes, and a lot of our newer songs take place in transient places like cars because I’m interested in both those feelings of the gap between happy and sad and of trouble at home or close to home. We love lots and lots of different music, which we try to show in our songs but personally at the moment I’m a huge fan of Phoebe Bridgers and what she does.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
The process of songwriting usually starts in the bedroom and the brain of myself. I usually try and create a fully formed demo with all parts written, and then what happens most of the time is we will run them at rehearsal, get the songs working in a live sense and the rest of the band can create their own parts or play with the essentials that are already there. Dave often brings ideas in terms of arrangements and how the parts should flow together. Of course when we get in the studio with Ryan we have more new ideas here and there and then with some of these songs Oscar added some really cool touches too in the mixing!
Can you tell us a bit about this new single, Pray For Rain, and its video clip?
Pray for Rain is a bit of a state of the world kind of song. It was kind of about my reaction to a few things that were happening in Australia at the time right before the bushfires. I wanted to make something that accurately captured a feeling of nihilism and lack of hope while trying to give off a sense of hopefulness in response to that. It references a few 1975 lyrics in People and Always Wanna Die (Sometimes) which to me had that feeling of fear in the 2020s and we tried to put our own twist on those feelings.
We had the title Pray for Rain which was sort of about our Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s antagonism to the climate protests in 2019 and his refusal to do more than give thoughts and prayers, but ultimately I hope the song is more relatable in a universal sense and the challenges that we all face in these times.
What do you have planned for 2021?
We’ve got lots of songs that will come out this year that we’re really proud of and we feel like are a big step up for us, but we’ve also been working on a lot more material, taking trips away to make demos as a band. We’d really love to do a tour in 2021 and get moving around the country, so we hope that will be feasible from a COVID-standpoint soon.
What do you want people to take away from your work?
I really want people to feel like they can relate to what’s being said and that our music can be “theirs” like they can really feel attached to it and represented by it. It’s also important to me that people find it fun and catchy and there’s not only one deadly serious level to relate to it on.
Where can we find more of your music?
Spotify and Apple Music work for us. We try to do a good job of the live shows too and make them interesting too - we often add stuff to the live versions of songs. We’ll be playing at Waywards in Newtown, Sydney on March 18th with Classic who we love and we’re super excited for that!