Interview with: Christopher Ate The Sun
New single: Sunflowers, release date- 28th August
The 28th of August marked the official debut single release from 'Christopher Ate the Sun', with his wonderfully experimental and unique track 'Sunflowers'.
'Sunflowers' embodies all the emotions of what it is to be enthralled in a toxic relationship, depicting what it feels like to wilfully stunt your own growth to keep someone else happy. After being granted VIP access prior to its release, we thought we'd give you the low down on what to expect from the song, as well as letting you in on our personal interview with Chris Aitchison- the artist himself.
(Cover art by @malimelyn)
So Chris, what was it that first got you into music?
My dear old dad was a musician, so music was a big presence in my life from an early age. I remember being 12 and borrowing his iPod to go on a walk and asking him what I should listen to. He told me to shuffle the whole Beatles back catalogue, so I did, and I’m pretty sure something in my brain re-wired itself to worship this group of super-humans till the day I die! Following that, I began venturing into my dad’s guitar collection (much to his worry) and eventually started my first band around 14, as well as desperately attempting to write some songs.
Is there any particular music that has inspired you on your journey?
I have a weird thing with artists, in that I’ll get absolutely obsessed with one for a few months and then move onto the next. I’m currently listening to Big Thief and everything they’ve ever recorded, including Adrienne Lenker and Buck Meek’s duo and solo stuff (it’s all incredible). Some underlying influences would always have to be the Beatles (along with a shit-load of 60s artists), Everything Everything, Flyte and many others!
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
I like to create music that can help people or give people a sense of inclusion, reassuring them that they’re not suffering through things alone. I aim to use my own experience of different kinds of relationships and their complications in writing music and lyrics with simple but eloquent messages and meanings.
What are the themes behind your new single, ‘Sunflowers’?
Sunflowers is about a dependant, abusive relationship, in which one of the people involved is bringing the other down mentally and emotionally, causing them to ‘wilt’. They’re blocking this person’s light and stinting their growth, to the point that everyone around them is growing tired of their problems and leaving them behind. It’s written as a letter to anyone in a similar situation in the hope that they might become aware of what is happening and realise their own worth. It’s often the case that the victims in these relationships are too busy trying to keep their partner happy that they stop caring for themselves and end up giving and giving until they start to disappear. It’s a horrible situation, but one that sadly seems to be all too common. Maybe the song will help some people, even if it’s just about becoming aware!
Is the song based on any personal experiences or observations?
It’s mostly based on a lot of observations of other people’s relationships, not even necessarily people I know. It’s important to understand also that these situations aren’t always malicious. Sometimes two people just aren’t good for each other, but dependency keeps them glued to each other.
Did you collaborate with anyone in the making of the song?
The writing and recording were pretty much just me (recluse). However, for the mixing I sent it off to a very lovely man named Ronan Peaker from the band ‘Lelo’ (@leloband on insta). I was a big fan of their production, so I messaged Ronan and he said he’d like to have a pop at it himself. Following that, I sent it to the legend that is Chris Milnes (@christmilnes) to be mastered. Chris is an absolute top bloke and a top producer-man. I was very, very happy with how the track was sounding with both of them on board. All that was left was the artwork, which was of course done by one of my closest friends in the whole wide world, Mali (@Malimelyn). She is a ridiculously good artist, as well as musician, and we spent a couple of weeks working on the artwork. I’m extremely happy with how it all came together.
Do you have anything planned for future release? If so, what can we look forward to from you?
I have a couple more singles planned for the next few months that follow a similar theme as this one. Following that, I’m making a few, very loose plans for an EP… but we’ll have to see if the world hasn’t ended by that point!
So, what's our verdict?
It's certainly true that Chris's youthful experiences of the Beatles' back catalogue have acted as inspiration for the sound of his first single- in the absolute best possible way!
The introductory acoustics remind us of their famous track 'Strawberry Fields', transitioning the track into a mellow, indie-pop tune. Chris's melodic harmonies are diverse in texture and give layers to the sound that make it seem as if performed by an entire band, showcasing the adaptability of his sound. Perhaps our favourite element of the entire track is the use of such beautiful synth chords, adding to the element of romanticism and symbolic of the rise and fall of emotions within dependant relationships.
While many may turn to the Beyonce's of the world to remind them of their worth and encourage them to kick a toxic relationship to the curb, 'Sunflowers' is a more gentle anthem for those who have neglected their own growth in the name of love.
We'd highly recommend giving 'Sunflowers' a listen- now available via: