Premiere: Meet Sunscreen and the breezy new video clip for their single, Voices
Like a cool summer breeze, this Sydney group are making some dreamy garage rock.
With only two singles under their belt, Sydney's Sunscreen have already supported the likes of Rolling Blackouts CF and Shining Bird with a sound they refer to as "dream-garage". And one listen to latest single Voices will find you having little to argue about. Released through Dinosaur City Records, the upbeat, instantly likeable song does deal with some heavier issues, like a lot of good pop does, as you'll find out with a little Q&A with the band below. If you like what you're hearing, you can catch 'em launching the video clip - shot by Oscar Morphew and edited by Christie Crawford - for Voices at the Union Hotel in Newtown on July 1, check all the info HERE.
Tell us about yourselves?
Sarah: We’re a band who’ve been best friends for years, but only started writing and playing together recently. We’re not sure why it took so long to occur to us to start a band. Sunscreen started as a three-piece, with myself, Alex and Hugo. Jett answered our prayers and joined as our new bass player. Alex and I are both on guitars, and Hugo is on drums. I'm the lead singer, but we all sing. Mainly to each other.
What’s the vibe music-wise?
Alex: The vibe is all very chill. Sunscreen has the chillest vibes. Fuzz pedals are banned. Clean and crisp sounds all the way.
Sarah: We definitely focus more on the songwriting than the pedals. I suppose we just want to write good songs, that sound like something we’d want to listen to ourselves. Alex is right that we’re chilled, but we can also channel a lot of angst into our music. Angsty pop, I might call it. But I’m not sure what to call it. We came up with the term ‘dream-garage’ once, to describe how we’re somewhere between tailored pop music and raw garage rock. Also because the idea for Sunscreen, after all, came to me in a dream, and started in a messy garage.
I’m inspired by the vocal melodies of Elizabeth Fraser from the Cocteau Twins, and the rawness and lyrical honesty of artists like PJ Harvey. We all love classic Australian bands like The Go-Betweens and The Triffids, and I feel like that 80s influence comes through pretty strongly in our music. I’m also hugely inspired by the music all my friends are making in Sydney.
Alex: Songs usually start with a guitar or bass part and it is built on from there.
Sarah: It works a few ways. Usually Alex’s will start it off with a guitar riff or idea. We live together so often I’ll hear him playing it in the house, and I'll start singing over the top, and the song comes together. But sometimes the songs just turn up at practice when we’re all jamming together. And we’ll flip out our phones and record them before the ideas get away, before they're gone forever.
Can you tell us about your new single, Voices?
Alex: Me and Hugo started playing some random thing in Sarah’s garage in Newtown one day. We come back for another jam a week later and Sarah’s got this amazing song.
Sarah: Voices started as a jam between Hugo and Alex. They started playing this crazy driving rhythm, and I started singing the "It’s my head, it’s just in mine" lyrics that would eventually become the chorus. I wrote the rest of the song that night and over the next week. This thing that Alex and Hugo were playing just had so much natural energy, the lyrics are about having anxiety, basically, and how anxiety distorts reality and makes you feel like you’re insane.
Can you tell us a bit about the Voices video clip, which we’re premiering today?
Sarah: The Voices video was filmed in my hometown at the Newcastle Ocean Baths, the place where I grew up and learnt to swim. The location holds a very special place in my heart, and is also very visually striking. I wanted to construct a kind of dream-like world with the film clip, one that flips the uncertainties of anxiety on its head - kind of symbolic of rising above anxiousness, I suppose. So we shot it in a location that I personally find reassuring and calming.
We filmed it over two consecutive days: the afternoon, and then sunrise the next morning. We filmed on the day they clean the baths, when pools were half-drained and nobody was around. We stayed with my mum that night and I made everyone wake up at 5am for the sunrise. But it was worth it.
The Sydney video launch is this Saturday, at the Union Hotel in Newtown. It’s a free show, come along! All deets are on our FACEBOOK.
What’s the rest of the year have in store?
Alex: Do the EP and learn the bagpipes.
Sarah: We’re currently in the middle of recording our debut EP. Four new tracks, perhaps five. We plan to have it out in Spring. We also want to travel out of Sydney and play our first few interstate shows in Melbourne, Brissy, or anywhere that will house us.
Where can we hear more of your music?
Follow Sunscreen: FACEBOOK