Equally as inspired by the club music of LA and Berlin as she is by her current quieter surroundings in the southern coastal town of Kristiansand in Norway, Ellen A. W. Sunde aka Sea Change’s sounds ebb and flow with an altruistic spirit on her latest album, Mutual Dreaming. Released via Shapes Recordings, her new offering reflects a deeply primal desire to move through intense feelings that escape verbal or written articulation, and provide a soothing antidote for over-thinking minds.
On her previous album INSIDE (2018), Sunde navigated a personal metamorphosis through her heady electronic ruminations and club-inspired beats. Teaming up once more with co-producer and mixer Andrew Murray Baardsen, on Mutual Dreaming Sunde reflects on quieter spaces and the power of a moment, allowing both to flood the senses and then be released into the ether just as quickly. Created during a global pandemic, her new electronica ripples with emotion without ever feeling weighty or over-thought, reflecting the way she feels about music in general. This approach to songwriting gives Mutual Dreaming its wonderfully searching, yet reassuringly vacant quality, reflecting the unusual time that it was made.
At times shadowy and sparse (‘I Put My Hand Into A Fist’, ‘That’s Us’, ‘OK’, ‘Rituals’) and other times heady and uplifting (‘Never Felt’, ‘Is There Anybody There’) Mutual Dreaming is full of captivating soundscapes. Tracks like ‘Never Felt…’ and ‘Night Eyes’ compliment each other beautifully, the former blossoming from a need to separate the body from the mind, whilst the latter is a pulsing, atmospheric offering that taps into the need to do the opposite. Both are evocative reminders to loosen up and surrender to the beat when life is pressing down on you. The dreamy transition from ‘Mirages’ into the album’s title track ‘Mutual Dreaming’ further enhances the flowing feeling that permeates the record.
Sea Change’s fluctuating sounds on Mutual Dreaming provide the backdrop for a gentle aural catharsis, allowing the stresses of life to melt away into the background. An intoxicating blur of soft vocals, lush beats and ambient electronics, it’s a welcome tonic in a time of disconnection and restlessness.
Listen to Mutual Dreaming here
Learn more about the music that inspired Sea Change’s album in our Five Favourites feature