With recent plays on Radio 1 and support from DIY magazine, 18-year-old songwriter Daniel Longmore (AKA SUNFACE) has proven that do-it-yourself projects are hugely rewarding. Following the recent release of his self-titled debut EP, we caught up with him to discuss the origins and future of his inadvertently successful solo project.
How did SUNFACE begin?
Initially, it was a spontaneous project. I’m in a band called TRASH and one night I decided that I wanted to release some songs I’d recorded alone. I sent TRASH some demos but it turned into something bigger at the studio. I wanted to put some low-fi songs out that weren’t under my name or TRASH.
I wasn’t really expecting to write any more songs for SUNFACE (released April 22, available on Spotify). I recorded ‘In My Dreams (I Have It All) and sent it to Artist Hard Records and to Phil Taggart, not intending for any response. I literally just jammed out one night and happened to receive a lot of interest. From there, I recorded the EP.
What’s different about SUNFACE compared to TRASH?
I write for both projects so a lot of comparisons can be made. Lyrically TRASH have more developed topics, we have a bigger audience so I felt like it needed it to resonate with people. As SUNFACE is my own project and the audience isn’t as big, I’m writing more relaxed lyrics.. It’s a carefree sound. Carefree is a good way to describe the music too.
How do you go about recording your music?
I have a Blue Snowball microphone, an old guitar with the E string missing and Garageband. I do stuff in my dining room and my bedroom. ‘Caroline’, the final song on the EP, was recorded in my dining room and the rest in my bedroom.
You’ve had some great coverage already, how does it feel?
It’s frustrating in a way because TRASH have been a band for two years and only received radio play a couple of weeks ago, off the back of our new single ‘Workout’. A guy who works with The 1975 and Two Door Cinema Club mastered the track. We went through this whole process and we were played on Radio 1 once. Whereas I recorded a song overnight with SUNFACE where there was no mastering; I made it in my bedroom and suddenly it was covered by the radio. It was really effortless and perhaps not really justified. The industry lets me down a bit. Radio is about what’s trendy at the minute.
SUNFACE is more Day Wave and Beach Fossils, whereas TRASH is pop and you can’t really compare it to anything. Phil Taggart probably thought SUNFACE sounded like Day Wave (who he played last week) so it’s current enough for airtime.
Where do you take your main inspiration from?
I’m inspired by now, so very current artists. DIIV and Day Wave influence me because of their simple but infectious melodies. It’s similar to what I wanted for SUNFACE: I wanted to layer hypnotic, catchy melodies. I’m attracted to the California, West Coast American vibe.
Who is your dream artist to work alongside?
I would love to meet up with the guys from White Lies. Their first album is the most amazing thing I’ve ever had the chance of listening to. I find it such a beautiful album, the whole atmosphere and the concept is proper good. I would like to hang out with them, even if we didn’t make any music, just to have a chat over a pizza.
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