An exchange on Instagram led singer/songwriter Kris Esfandiari (of King Woman) and vocalist/producer Darcy Baylis to unite as a new band, Sugar High, and release Love Addict, their debut together. Their music (influenced by dream-pop legends Cocteau Twins, synth-pop outfit M83, and even metal-core band Underoath) is hypnotic, nostalgic and tender.
I wanted us to create our own little world
Esfandiari tells us, about planning their album, “Darcy and I had met a couple days prior to recording. We talked a lot about feeling unsafe growing up. Sonically, I wanted us to create our own little world. A place where our sad teenage selves could freely express for once. In our homes we often didn’t feel safe to do so. Kinda felt like our inner children really came out during the writing process.”
This desire to create a safe space results in a warm and contemplative album that’s tinged with yearning. As Baylis says, “I think we’re both fascinated with nostalgia, and the album very explicitly came as a result of us trying to create music that our adolescent selves would be proud of. It’s like that feeling of romantic longing—not for a particular person, but for a place or a period in your life or a certain way of viewing the world that you maybe had when you were younger that you don’t have now. So, emo music, essentially.”
In order to celebrate their new album and to connect with listeners, the duo kindly made COOL HUNTING a playlist. “In surreal and desperate times, like the one we’re currently living in now, music is like a global crutch,” Baylis says. “But I think I have a tendency to indulge in depressing music too much to the point of exacerbating my experience.” So the two decided on the perfect theme, Songs That Make You Feel Less Alone—the only rule being “Nothing that will make you feel worse was allowed. Sincerity and positivity only.”
The playlist features music by Hatchie, Burial, Dana Dentata and Hype Williams—and includes Sugar High’s ethereal “Losing”—along with plenty of deep cuts. “This is the first time I’ve set out to make a playlist that was just songs that lift your spirits,” Baylis says. While Esfandiari adds, “I hope it sparks the feeling of being loved and comforted.”
Love Addict is out 28 April, and available for purchase online now.
Image courtesy of Martyna “Ginger Dope” Wisniewska