Suntrodden, The TVD First Date and Premiere, “Suntrodden I” EP

“I don’t remember a moment in my life that wasn’t soundtracked. Whether I was taking piano lessons at Suzuki, exploring my parent’s record collection filled with obscure Canadian folk music, or pillaging my brother’s far-ranging tastes for psychedelia and avant-garde jazz, I was creating an appreciation for ‘the song’ that would turn into a lifelong love affair.”

“I’ve always been the type of music consumer to chase new discoveries down the rabbit hole. Every new artist opens doors to side projects and scenes. I absorb as much of it as I can before moving on. The internet would seemingly be the ideal medium for me, because it can feed the obsession until my ADD introduces a new muse. In the Napster days, I zealously squeezed out every megabyte of music my dial-up connection could muster. Suddenly, I had everything…and it meant nothing to me.

Music has always been a part of my self-identity, and I was tarnishing my spirit by ‘stealing’ it (not meant to alienate anyone, so it gets air quotes). I’m ritualistic in how I listen to music; I like peeling off the cellophane, smelling the sweet ink of the cover, poring over the liner notes for the producer, engineers, guest musicians, etc. I want to understand the who, what, where of how the album was created. This connection was lost when the relationship became a series of points and clicks.

Another downside of the download was the distance it created between myself and the record shop. Why buy when it’s free, right? I was a college student at the time with limited resources that I directed elsewhere. I was feeding some habits and ignoring others. Record shops are cultural bastions that serve as hubs for the creative class to meet, share, and devise. Downloading severed that tie, and I realized over time that I needed to repair that bond.

I remember my first trip back to the record shop after I made the decision to unplug (circa 2000). I strolled into the now shamefully long gone School Kids Records in Athens, GA and eventually landed on Sigur Ros’s Aegetis Byrjun thanks to the grumpy sage behind the counter (I later got to know him as the man behind the Glands). I took it home and opened my new reality. The music was strange and beautiful. I had never heard anything like it. I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since.

Love isn’t easy. First dates are awkward. Finding something or someone who speaks to your soul is rare. Protect it and keep it pure… And, make sure you’ve got a good record on the player for the soundtrack.”
Erik Stephansson

Suntrodden’s debut EP, “Suntrodden I” arrives in stores February 5.

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PHOTO: JOHN McNICHOLAS

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