Reading quintet Saltwater Sun are back, tackling the turbulent times we live in with tornado guitar lines and towering refrains; the sort that demand to be listened to at window-shaking volume. With their supercharged new single ‘The Wire’ out now via Hand In Hive and awaiting a tap of the play button below, we caught up with frontwoman Jen Stearnes to talk about the glistening guitar-pop outfit’s dazzling rearrival.
‘The Wire’ is a stunning return. How did the track come about?
“Thank you! This song came about the way all of our songs do; Dan (guitar) imagines an initial idea, be it a riff or a chord progression, and the rest of us pile in around it. We’ve always had a very collaborative writing process. Lyrically, the foundations of the song came from the feeling of dread I experienced upon waking one Thursday morning at Glastonbury Festival and learning the referendum result.”
How did Saltwater Sun start out?
“Dan, Joel (guitar) and I went to school together and Dan had played in bands with Rob (bass) whilst we were growing up. Their gigs were always an event attended en masse by people in our year group and the adjacent year groups, a proper social event. After some time away from music, they formed a new band with Joel and Benny (drums) and wanted someone to play keys and sing backing vocals. I’d played music with Dan at college and sung backing vocals for various people, so Dan asked me along. My vocal role got bigger and the keyboard role disappeared completely, which means I don’t have to cart a keyboard around anymore – so I’m pretty happy about that.”
Who are the Top 5 biggest influences on your sound right now?
“Dan is loving a bit of Sheryl Crow at the moment and his biggest regret in life is that he didn’t write ‘Lovefool’ by The Cardigans, so we’ve got those vibes going on in there for sure. We were listening to a lot of Land of Talk, Big Thief and The Districts in the studio.”
Any other new artists you have played with and would recommend?
“Gengahr aren’t particularly new, but they have just released an amazing new album which we would urge everyone to listen to. We had the pleasure of hearing some of those songs before they were released when we played with them a little while back. We can’t wait for Black Honey to drop an album too – we’re fans.”
And finally, what does the future hold for Saltwater Sun?
“We’re heading back to the studio with Alex Loring and Tom Andrews (co-producers of ‘The Wire’) soon, which we’re very excited about. We’ll be heading out to play our first shows in almost a year next month with some songs we’re really proud of under our belts, so hope to see you out there!”