After the birth of his son in 2013, songwriter Erik Stephansson, a father for the first time, was inspired to start a new recording project under the moniker Suntrodden. Given the circumstances, you might think “Sunrise to Sunset,” the lead single from his upcoming Suntrodden I EP, would be something akin to a lightning bolt of positivity, but the dreamy indie pop we’re presented with here appears far more subdued. Part of that muted air likely stems from the circumstances surrounding Stephansson’s home recordings — it’s hard to let yourself go and make a racket when you’ve got a newborn in the house — but there’s also an air of thoughtful reservation in the track. “Take all the time you need, we’re only bleeding / We’re only bleeding the day away” go the opening lines — not exactly a burst of, well, sunshine. But in the context of the song they are representative of the sacrifices people make and the sufferings they will endure for those they love.
Musically, Stephansson’s airy acoustic and double-tracked vocals help add a sense of whimsy to the track’s purposeful restraint, but overall it feels a bit underwhelming. Still, credit him for avoiding the easy clichés and adopting a more minimalist approach to articulate what must feel like the most monumental of life-affirming experiences. Listen below.
Suntrodden I is out February 5, 2016.