Most artists have a ritual they invoke or a place they return to when they want to get their creative juices flowing. Atlanta singer/songwriter Erik Stephansson, who has been performing as Suntrodden since 2013, conjures inspiration at his family’s 100 year old piano, channeling his forbearers into his art. Stephansson is currently at work on a three-part suite of EPs, which he records at his own Atlanta-based Echo Bright Studios. Suntrodden I came out in February of this year, and will be followed on October 28th by Sundtrodden II, a sophomore effort that finds Stephansson trading in the darker themes of the first EP for brighter tones and a sunnier attitude. Maybe his ancestors sent him summer-time vibes through the old ivory.
Today, Elmore is premiering “Melt,” a track from the upcoming release, Suntrodden II. Of the track, Stephansson told us, “I always found the phrase ‘I melted’ interesting — whether it was used to describe the heat of summer, a romantic encounter, or a sweet gesture. The song started as an attempt to weave those three themes together as I was imaging a couple melting into one another as the world swirled around them. When I was writing the song, I accidentally slipped into the scene and found myself writing to the muse rather than about the muse, which created a more personal dynamic.”
Stephansson’s breathy, breezy vocals carry across an acoustic guitar-driven, gentle sort of psychedelia, from the synesthetic jumbling of the senses- “I think I thought I heard you smile”- to kaleidoscopic repetition. The infectious tune mingles the introspective lyricism of Elliot Smith with the jangling indie-experimentation of Elephant 6 Collective. Clearly, sunny days are ahead for Stephansson.
Stay up to date with Suntrodden on his website, and give “Melt” a spin below.