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49 Sonnymoon

The Brooklyn based duo known as Sonnymoon is one creatively adventurous group.  They've embraced the uncharted territory of the modern music business with the same innovation they bring to their music.  There's a sense of unpredictability in their music that makes them extremely exciting artists to watch and listen to.  We caught up with Anna Wise and Dane Orr as they prepare to release their new album "Courage of the Present"...

-First of all, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us.  Your new album The Courage of The Present is out in March.  Could you tell us a bit about it?  How is it different from some of your other music?

Hey Fingers on Blast! The Courage of Present Times represents the progression of our sound over the past two years. We have grown as people and as creators. Considering the current landscape is music, it takes a lot of courage to really step out and do anything different. 

On a more personal level, we think its crazy to be alive right now and it takes a lot of self-discipline to stay sane. We are all bombarded by information, misinformation, and opinions disguised as facts. We've witnessed a lot of our friends go down unfortunate psychological paths because of this. Maybe every generation has felt this way, but we think we live in an extra novel time, and everything is going so fast. It takes courage to keep on going right now.

-Do you remember what music it was growing up that made you want to become a musician?


There was no music in particular. I sang throughout my childhood and have always known music was my path.


It was more that there's such a vast history of things to dig through. My listening habits were (and still are) all over the place. The fact that I would be exposed to Leonard Bernstein one hour and then listening to Metallica or Bob Marley the next was mind-blowing for me. Also, music is the purest form of art, at the base level you don't need anything but your body to create music, its not that way with any other (you could argue that it is with theatre/acting…but it requires a bit more planning to break into a spontaneous 'acting jam'). The line between the way we communicate on a daily basis and express ourselves via music is a very thin one, and its the most consistent art form to give me goosebumps.


-Can you tell us what prompted the move from Boston to New York? Do you think you could do this in any city or is NYC part of what makes Sonnymoon great? 



It wasn't an immediate move, there were four years of other stuff in between Boston and Brooklyn. Here's the condensed version: Four years ago I dropped out of Berklee and we left on a road trip to California. Two days into the trip I received a text from Kendrick Lamar asking to record with him in LA, so we set sail for Compton, CA. We worked together for five months, then Sonnymoon left on tour with Teebs (and others.) Two years later, we finished touring and all our Boston friends had moved to Brooklyn. We visited and fell in love. There are so many passionate artists and artisans of all trades here. Its important to be surrounded by creative people. We also keep weird schedules and no city is better for that than NYC. I don't know if we could do what we're doing anywhere else, but we want to find out. A lot of our friends are moving to New Orleans. We shall see.


-You seem to be great collaborators, with each other of course, but also with a fascinating variety of other artists.  How do you manage to make consistently great music with so many different people, and also, is there anyone you haven't worked with that you might like to?



We are unique and prolific and people want us around. Whether we are writing or singing or playing little hand drums or just vibing, being present while others are creating. They want what we bring. Our albums might not be everyones cup of tea, but its becoming more and more apparent to me that a lot of artists know who we are and want a little of us on their record. Not too much, because what we do together is very intense and new and can be a turn off to many listeners. But, a little Sonnymoon sprinkle on top of another artists sunday seems to do very well. 

I'd like to work with Lana Del Rey, Grimes, Fatima, David Gahan, Niki Randa, Bjork, Jocelyn Pook, Amber Coffman, Jill Scott, The Roches, Jean Grae, Suzi Analogue, Angel Deradoorian, and Gwen Bunn.

(Dane) would like to work with David Byrne, Brian Eno, James Murphy, Bjork, Kanye West, Kate Bush, Pat Metheny, Steve Reich, and Herbie Hancock.


-What's a typical day (if there were such a thing) in the life of Sonnymoon?


We wake up on the spaceship in our sleep pods and get our mind link functions for the day. We dress in hemp fiber clothing made by the 3-D printer in our closet. Then we teleport down to the farm and pick our food for the day from the garden. 

Then it's back up to the spaceship to enter our creativity realm. It's like the holodeck, only way fucking better. We sing glowing faberge eggs made of living language into the holographic sound matrix.

After that, we visit the Hall of Crones and commune with the spirits of our elders. There we breathe-drink the mist of ages and fill our souls with neon shards of healing light. Then we go to sleep and the real work begins.

It's a long day. 


-Where does your creative inspiration come from?


Our inspiration comes from all areas of life. Everything we do is to enable musical creation. We dream in songs. It's spontaneous and wonderful and we are so grateful to be tapped into the wellspring. 


-If you were DJing, what one record would you take with you every night?



Jean Grae - That's Not How You Do That: An Instructional Manual for Adults


Fela Kuti - Zombie


-Thank you so much for chatting with us, and thank you for making some of our absolute favourite music.  Is there anything else we should know about?


You should definitely know about Terence McKenna, Stephen Hawking, Dr. Bronner's Soap, your local farmer's market, reusable water bottles, what food tastes like when it hasn't been wrapped in plastic. Finally, please be prepared to have your molecules rearranged when you come see us on tour. Peace!



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