Electric Sol recently released its second EP, but prior to the collection’s release, the act offered a sample of its future.
“This whole project is a turning point and has come to define who we are as a band and what we’re doing,” says singer Ed Sweet. “We’ve already released three singles from that EP, so there’s only two and a half new songs on the EP.”
For the project, Sweet recruited Grammy Award-winning producer and musician Dapo Toromiro and fellow Phoenician Secret Attraction to help.
“After the pandemic hit last March, that’s when I started taking music a little more seriously,” Sweet says.
“So, I contacted Dapo, because I figured nothing ventured, nothing gained. At the same time, I reached out to Secret Attraction, who I had seen at the Trunk Space in February of 2020, and we made these projects in parallel.”
Sweet says working with the two helped him refine the band’s musical direction.
“Now that we’ve figured out what our genre is and what kind of music we want to make, it’s opened up a lot of doors to meet a lot of people,” Sweet says.
The biggest change Sweet made was abandoning live instruments for synthesizers and an octstrack, a drum machine that can be used to create a song’s rhythm. It also records samples.
Sweet took to social media to interact with fans and immerse himself in a community of other synthpop artists.
“I’ve been doing a lot of engagement on social media,” says Sweet, a Phoenix resident and Brown University alumnus.
“We interact with a lot of people on Twitter and with artists who put on shows via Twitch, where we’ve had our music played.
“It’s been a great way to connect with people and become part of that community. It’s a very welcoming community.”
While social media has proven to be beneficial for Electric Sol, it has also found ways to express its art visually through videos.
“Our video projects are very low budget, so we have to try to do a lot with as little as possible,” Sweet says. “We try to add a few embellishments that make it a little more interesting without spending a lot of money.”
Its music video for “Your Divinity” did just that, as it was shot by Electric Sol’s octatrack player and Boulder Creek High School alumnus Cody Hazelle. The video features a woman wearing a crown made of zip ties and was filmed in one of Sweet’s friend’s backyard.
“Your Divinity” was the first single from “City Tonight” and was released late last year.
“We were ready to do the album in November, so ‘Your Divinity’ seemed like it made sense in a loose way to being related to the divine things related to Christmastime,” Sweet says. “
As for the rest of the singles, Sweet wanted to tie them into the seasonality of the time in which they were released.
“We based our decisions on when songs came out based on the time of year,” Sweet says. However, “none of the lyrics are about a specific time of year.”
“I knew I wanted ‘Beauty Beauty’ to come out around Valentine’s Day, because that’s kind of an antilove love song, which I thought would be funny to do around that time.”
Entering the new year, Sweet wanted to get fans excited about Electric Sol’s future, so he released another track.
“‘Life Out Loud’ came out in February, and we felt it was a good way to start a new year, and we were hopeful that all the pandemic stuff would be over,” Sweet says. “Plus, people liked the song, and we wanted to start with one of the more fun and upbeat songs.”
However, the last released song is “City Tonight,” a “good summer/pool party” track.
“I like to describe the album as each song is a kind of sparkling wine, and it just depends on what your preference is,” Sweet says. “There’s something for everybody on the album, though.”
Looking forward, Electric Sol is back in the studio and has been working with Secret Attraction and Icelandic producer Thorisson. The band hopes to release new music in May or June. The “City Tonight” video is set for May.
“Everyone’s eager to get back out there, and we’ve been practicing a lot,” Sweet says. “Things are changing and for the better, which is good.”