Sinnober – From Afar

Three months ago, Vodka was happy to have a new Sinnober single to review, Ophelia. It was beautiful and so great to have these two back making music again! Fast forward to today, and yet another single has dropped, From Afar (seen/heard here). Rather than just review it without any feedback, I really wanted to find out how things were going in the Sinnober world. I reached out to them and received a response from Natalie Brice to a few questions.  The questions and responses follow. I may edit the questions slightly so that they read better, but the responses are 100% from the artist:

Vodka: I’m curious about a few things. The most recent single, “From Afar” has a completely different sound than your other music. Can you tell me what influenced the sound of this single, and what is the message you are trying to drive with the lyrics?

NB: When we first started out, we were in our twenties, we had a manager, and there was always a brief: write a hit. We are now in our thirties, we don’t have a manager, and we have two young children. We are no longer operating within that commercial realm and this has been truly liberating in that we consciously create what comes naturally. We listen to a wide range of music and find it stifling to limit ourselves to one style.

A musician friend and I were chatting recently about how simple, well-crafted songs don’t often get the credit they deserve. This inspired me to write a love song. You have to sacrifice part of your ego and get uncomfortable if you are creating something truthful and vulnerable. I felt vulnerable and exposed singing it so I knew I was out of my comfort zone. This song doesn’t pull any gimmicks, it isn’t cryptic or clever. It is about being shit scared.

Vodka: Looking at everything that’s happened in your lives in the last several years since Projection was released, (starting a family, COVID 19, etc.,) what would you say have been your biggest challenges, both musically and as a young family?

NB: Our son had just turned 4 and our daughter was 6 months old when the first lockdown happened. We have a lovely home, beautiful countryside within walking distance, and an openhearted community who passed cakes over the fence. All this said, we still found it ball-breakingly hard.

If it had just been Seb and I, it would’ve been chilled – fun even. I would’ve learnt a new language, perfected my sourdough starter, phoned old friends, and researched the American civil war.

With a young child and a baby it was a different ball game. There was the paradox of having all the time in the world but no time to do anything creative or work-related. We spent a lot of time at the allotment which was a lifeline, I memorised every cobweb on our bedroom wall while nursing the baby, and we watched a lot of box sets!

Funnily enough, all this stagnancy must’ve provoked a creative surge as song ideas were pouring out of me – just no time to record in the studio as there wasn’t any childcare available.

One of the many blessings that comes with having young children is that you become less precious about your music because you simply have to be. You become super efficient with any time you might have in the studio and you don’t beat about the bush!

Performing and gigging is still a challenge due to our toddler not sleeping which is terribly dull. Hopefully things will shift and we will be able to perform again in the Spring.

Vodka: Finally, as you look towards the next year, what are your plans? Is there another LP in the works at some point in the future?

NB: To achieve a full night’s sleep! And to make space for creativity, family, and friends.

We have every intention of writing another LP, but maybe don’t hold your breath! Until we do, we will release songs spontaneously – as and when they arrive.

Well said, Natalie. Vodka will be watching your musical progress.

With From Afar, Sinnober creates another beautiful song in a catalog that contains no duds. Not one. If you have as yet to pick up any of Sinnober’s music, I encourage you to do so!  Pick up all three of their LPs and all of their singles from their site. Check out their website as well. 

Note: It looked like we were heading for clear skies with Covid 19. The variants are making a comeback, which means that the livelihoods of artists like Sinnober and many others are still threatened. If your situation allows it, consider purchasing more in these tough times. Please, if you are physically able to do so, get the vaccine! –Vodka

Search is broken: Finding former posts from artists used to be a given, but something has happened with our host. Searching for an artist in the search (above) will sometimes get your results, and sometimes (as with a search for “sinnober” for instance) it will yield nearly none of the historical posts. This is a problem that Vodka is researching. Please be aware that we may be forced to change hosts, which would cause a short moratorium on posts. If you are used to seeing a  new post on the blog every Wednesday, then just be aware that if you don’t find a new post, it’s because we are off building elsewhere. Thanks for your patience.