Equally as inspired by the club music of LA and Berlin as she is by her quieter coastal surroundings in Kristiansand in Norway, Ellen Sunde aka SEA CHANGE’s sounds ebb and flow with a tranquil, yet deeply primal desire to move through a feeling that sometimes escapes written articulation. Her electronica ripples with emotion, but without every feeling weighty or over-thought, reflecting the way she feels about music in general. She’s set to release her new album, Mutual Dreaming, on 11th February via Shapes Recordings.
We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with SEA CHANGE to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that have inspired her song-writing techniques and informed her new album. Check out her choices below and scroll down to watch her video for her latest single ‘I Put My Hand Into A Fist’ at the end of this post.
1. Aurora Halal – ‘Death Of Real’
Aurora Halal is an amazing techno producer, I’m just totally mesmerized by her productions. This particular track is more mellow, but it’s one of my favorites. I’ve recently been re-watching some videos of her hardware live sets. Wow! A total inspiration. Her music is super sensual and dreamy and has this dark psychedelic and shadowy vibe, and at the same time it’s also danceable. This combination was also something I tried to achieve on my album. She releases on her own label called Mutual Dreaming and, well, guess where I took my album name from? Just a little homage from me there.
2. Lövgren – ‘Power Surge’
Around the time I was producing Mutual Dreaming in my home studio, my friend Lövgren was finishing up his debut album, and his Burial inspired ambient made me realize I wanted to do more ambient textures in my music. I think his combination of hard hitting beats with manipulated vocal samples and textures is amazing. This was the first time I heard his music and I was totally blown away. It’s always really cool to be inspired by friends, it makes you try to reach even higher yourself. This track and the whole album is an amazing hidden gem that more people should listen to.
3. Julee Cruise – ‘Mysteries Of Love’
I was late to the party to watch the last Twin Peaks season, but when I finally did I got this total new fascination for Julee Cruise and her floaty voice over dreamy ambient. So then I had to re-watch Blue Velvet where this song is featured as well. Julee Cruise gives me a very strange and weird vibe – it’s almost too dreamy – I don’t even know how to explain it, but I guess that’s why it works so well cinematically in these films. This song was a very direct inspiration for the tracks ‘Mirages’ and ‘Mutual Dreaming’. I guess I sometimes can be a little afraid of singing too prettily over a beautiful instrumental track. Always a bit afraid of seeming too cute. But on ‘Mirages’ I tried to channel my inner Julee Cruise, and I kind of loved it.
4. Sassy 009 – ‘Okay’
The first time I heard Sassy 009 I was totally compelled by the ethereal feel, combined with her danceable beats. Sunniva who is the producer of Sassy 009 has a really stunning way of making her productions dreamy and experimental, but at the same time there’s several super catchy phrases in each song. It’s like all of them could be the main hook in a completely new track, but instead she spices up her song-writing with it and makes this beautiful forward thinking alternative pop of out of it. When I was looking for a mixer and co-producer for my last album INSIDE I looked everywhere for a person to work with. I tried different things out but didn’t really feel it worked. At that time Sassy 009 was a trio and released their debut EP, and I absolutely loved their vibe. I reached out to their mixer and co-producer and BAM – I found the right person to work with on INSIDE – BAYA and I also worked together on my new album Mutual Dreaming.
5. Haxan Cloak – ‘Excavation (Part 1)’
One thing that I loved about the process of producing my new album was that I felt I had the time to really go deep into learning new production styles. One thing I tried was reproducing tracks that I’m fascinated by, just to learn some new things in the process. This Haxan Cloak song was one of the tracks I tried to reproduce. Since this record came out I’ve been super fascinated by this album and especially this track. How it shifts and turns in the intensity of the production. The combination of the reverb heavy beats together with the heavy side chain makes you feel on edge the whole time. And it’s so dark and compelling that it makes me want to go into the woods and do some witchy rituals. My little copy of this track developed into its own thing and I split in two and it was actually planned to be the first and the last track on my album, but in the end I felt the first one didn’t belong there. But I kept the last part – which is called ‘Rituals’.
Thanks to Sea Change for sharing her favourites with us.
Watch the video for her latest single ‘I Put My Hand Into A Fist’ below.
Photo credit: Simen Løvgren