Meet Sadboy Season, the duo making alt-R&B with their new single, MOVING ON
The Sydney pair have been quick to make a name for themselves through 2020, and there's plenty more to come.
Header image by Zara Mutti.
It's no secret that alt-R&B and hip-hop have become two genres to beat throughout the last twelve months in particularly, with low-strung, dark-lit niches of rap music in particular being a commercially dominant force particularly in the US (here in Australia, we've felt waves of this ride - but nothing compared to the scene's birthplaces). It'd be wrong to say that it's just a passing fad too, considering how its still holding on despite bursts of disco-pop and indie-pop making comebacks via big pop stars this year, and how it's also influencing an exciting next generation putting their own spins on the genre too.
Sydney-based duo Sadboy Season are a pairing amongst that generation, taking the low-key approach of 2020 break-outs such as Joji and putting their own distinctive spin on it, taking these sounds into new directions as they merge it with a broader range of influences and experimentation that gives it new life. Take their debut single ALWAYS ON MY MIND for example, which built this drowned-out soundscape that the duo added The Weeknd-like vocal harmonies over the top of, mixing together elements of pop and hip-hop as the song progresses.
It's also something that makes itself present on their second single MOVING ON, which makes it two-from-two for the group as they continue to move towards a 2020 break-out. It's a single that balances between this contrast of lightness and darkness, with sweeping funk bass and dancing vocals bringing out a more upbeat side of the duo's work that really shines on MOVING ON.
Underneath that, however, there's a darkness that looms. It stems partly from the duo's roots in this often more-brooding R&B sound and partly from the single's theme, which as they explain, breaks down toxic relationships and the rollercoastering complexities associated, which feels represented by the song's almost-claustrophobic depth. "This new single tells a tale of coming to terms with a toxic relationship and finally plunging off the precipice that separates a painful yet alluring past and an uncertain but hopeful future," they say on the single.
"MOVING ON blends pain with hope and melancholy with optimism, leaving the listener feeling empowered with its resounding phrase 'I’m Moving On,".
It's a song that continues to elevate Sadboy Season forward after the strengths of their debut single, and you can take a dive into it below as you better get to know the duo behind it, as we introduce Sadboy Season to the world.
Tell us about yourself?
SS: Yo! so Sadboy Season is an alternative R&B duo consisting of us two best mates Gabriel DeBurgh and Jordan Coles. We are currently based in Sydney and have been writing music together for a few years now. This project was formed a few years ago, Gabe was a frontman in an indie band and Jordan had been producing beats for years. We started sending each other music recommendations and realised we have very similar inspirations and taste, so one day we thought of the idea of making this project together, linked up one night and made 3 really cool tracks now here we are!
What’s the ‘vibe’ music-wise?
SS: Neon lit R&B made for late-night drives. We're influenced by many sounds spanning the decades - 80s pop and synth-wave, 90s R&B and house, the current wave of artists like Drake, The Weeknd, Joji, Kid Laroi and many more. Innovative producers like Nile Rodgers, Timbaland, Pharrell and Metro Boomin also play a huge part in our sound and we try to pay homage where we can and put our own spin on it.
Our sound is one that we have been searching for a while. A new-nostalgia feel with relatable experiences. We’ve both had our fair share of love and loss in our time, and being able to put these experiences into song is deeply cathartic (and we hope our listeners feel the same way too). Sonically we love blending futuristic soundscapes to powerful rhythmic grooves and booming bass, while thematically the content is full of heartbreak, sadness and tragic romance. A sonic space opera, if you will.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
SS: We usually approach our music with an instrumental first, vocals second approach. If the beat is hittin' and good enough to listen to on its own, vocals are the icing on the cake. We will either sit and have a session together or work separately and bring the ideas to the table for the collaborative process. Once we've fully structured a song we will go back in and refine the production and lyrical content.
Can you tell us a bit about this new song, Moving On?
SS: This new single tells a tale of coming to terms with a toxic relationship and finally plunging off the precipice that separates a painful yet alluring past and an uncertain but hopeful future. MOVING ON blends pain with hope and melancholy with optimism, leaving the listener feeling empowered with its resounding phrase 'I’m Moving On'.
What does the rest of 2020 have in store for you?
SS: We are dropping another track in a few weeks time that features an amazingly talented female vocalist, then not long after that our 6 track thematic EP will be out this December. Also lots more songwriting, and getting ready to play shows in 2k21. PS: we do be droppin' some kewl merch soon too, so keep ya eyes peeled!
What do you want people to take away from the project?
SS: We want people to come away from listening to our music feeling sonically satiated, emotionally spoken to, and eagerly anticipating new material from us.
Where can we find more of your music?
SS: Link in bio? lmao. But actually all good streaming services, or Youtube for visuals.