Chameleonic synth pop
Ones To Watch - Sunless '97

What’s the difference between ‘being in love with music’ and ‘being in love in music’? Just ask Sunless ’97, a trio who’ve increasingly been painting lush strokes of electronica across our mottled skies.

Two-thirds of this delightful band are lovers. Following in the canonical footsteps of Fleetwood Mac and Blondie, Ed Larrikin and Alice Davies are inseparable spirits whose record collections and thoughts have been stretching between them for the last ten years and now triangulate through the capable ears and hands of Matt McGough, who brings bass and Ableton trickery.

“We live together so we’re always around each other,” Alice sweetly explains before Ed boisterously expands: “We’ve listened to so much music together and we’ve known each other for so long it was just a real natural thing to start playing together.”

It’s early days for this trio of shadow chasers. Each musical communiqué shifts ground, their releases are a restless testing zone where they move amongst bright and sunkissed synths, crushed house, Afro whispers and Krautrock musings. It’s anything actually but devoid of sunshine. Yet their name was quickly taken from a French film called Sans Soleil by Chris Marker, as Ed ruminates: “When we watched the film it was all about memory and how your memory can play tricks.”

Thus the band’s nom-de-guerre and music don’t match, but dig a bit deeper into Ed’s mind and you can discover why Sunless ’97 sound so malleable and are so keen to investigate their form. He moves on to their manifesto: “The only thing you should do is be awake to everything and I think we live by that. Especially in terms of music that we digest - we just stay open.”

Words by Matthew Bennett
Photo by Samuel John Butt

Where: London
What: Chameleonic synth pop
Get 3 Songs: ‘Bodyweather’, ‘Azul’, ‘Illuminations’
Unique Fact: Their saxophonist Yebka Likoba often played with Gil Scott-Heron.


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