Radiant vocalist and songwriter Sannia has released not one, but two magnificent new singles; Daylight and Better. The two tracks are reflective of the growth of Sannia's trademark intricate, emotive songwriting, and her voice soars with undeniable strength on both songs as the narrative melts from one track to the next. And the indie pop powerhouse has also released two stunning videos for the singles, directed by award-winning writer and director Emily Dynes (Teagan, Oh Pep!, The Gaze). To celebrate the double release, Sannia will be playing two exclusive shows in September at Melbourne's Workers Club (September 12) and Sydney's Golden Age Cinema (September 14).
Daylight opens the window into Sannia's heart and mind, with pulsing, nostalgic synths, and poignant, relatable lyrics woven amongst a gentle solo guitar. The story is familiar – unrequited love, not for a stranger but for a close friend, as Sannia explains, "I wrote this song on a train home after a big night out with friends, I sort of had this weird semi- inebriated epiphany that I was head over heels for someone close to me, and in that same moment I realised he absolutely didn't feel the same at all. Like two ships passing in the night, or maybe a ship and a rowboat in my case." The clip is striking even from the opening shot – a damaged car in a vast, open pasture, a fire smoking out, and Sannia, a little bruised, lying in the front seat in a flowing red dress. She rises, and moves instinctively with the song, as she describes, "I feel like I was most vulnerable in this clip - I was absolutely terrified at first to include choreography in a one-take shot with a very small time frame to get it done was nerve wrecking but I think it's the clip I'm most proud of."
Better picks up where Daylight leaves off; the dust has settled on the relationship, and Sannia begins to believe in getting better, if only for herself. Another distinctive, swooping synth and an industrial-style drum loop moves this track into a modern, electronic space, while Sannia's gorgeous vocals, evocative of both Meg Mac and Vera Blue, make this song distinctly hers. The clip features two lovers, dancing in a sunlit, empty house, then in a field at dusk…and then, they are apart, as Sannia says, "If there was anything in the world I wish I could do it would be dance, and the first thing I thought of when I imagined a video for this song was two dancers really representing the constantly shifting sands of a turbulent relationship. Emily managed to get in touch with choreographer Sian Kelly and two incredible dancers (Melissa Yvonne Pham and Ned Zaina) and suddenly this idea I had in my head that I absolutely couldn't describe with words or my own lack of coordination actually came to life; I was completely blown away by Mel and the emotion she brought to the shoot."
Explaining the decision to release both songs at the same time, Sannia says, "I decided to release these two together because I feel like they're one and the same, not just in terms of their production or both videos being centred around dance and movement, but the two songs were really two different responses to the same situation. Daylight was the initial, really vulnerable call out and Better was the more defiant and explosive response."
After an intense year of touring, Sannia is thrilled to be playing two exclusive live shows to celebrate the release of Daylight and Better. Giving fans a taste of what to expect from the shows, Sannia says, "I feel like we've grown so much from all the time not just performing but creating together and that definitely shows onstage. I think I'm the most honest version of myself and my emotions onstage, the music I write comes from a deeply personal place so I'm essentially revealing myself and embodying my work every time I perform and I can't wait to share these new stories with a new audience."
Sannia Better and Daylight Double Single Release Launch Shows
THU 12 SEP | WORKERS CLUB, FIZTROY VIC | 18+
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545
SAT 14 SEP | GOLDEN AGE CINEMA, NEWTOWN NSW | All Ages
Free Entry | Details available via https://www.ourgoldenage.com.au/live-music
Question: Can you tell us about your new singles, Daylight and Better?
Sannia: I absolutely can, Daylight and Better are my latest releases – I like to think of them as A/B-side singles – co-produced by myself and Colin Leadbetter in his Brunswick backyard. Daylight is a slow burning, synth based ballad about falling for your best friend and Better is the very raw aftermath complete with a huge drum loop and a very catchy outro (apparently). The reason I decided to release both at once was because I felt like they were linked not just lyrically but sonically, the production on both was similar and I was going through a phase where I wanted a heavier, more pop produced sound and the two evolved alongside each other in the studio.
Question: What motivates you most when writing music?
Sannia: For me it's not so much a matter of motivation but just sort of catching whatever's appearing in the moment, I feel like sometimes music just appears out of nowhere in my head and I sort of have to decipher what's going on there and whether or not I like what I'm hearing or if I want to change things, often I'll end up having these weird moments of insight into how I'm feeling or coping with something just based off which lyrics I improvise over a melody. In summary – I just write about whatever I'm feeling the deepest, which can get a bit heavy at times!
Question: What was it like filming the videos for the singles?
Sannia: I won't lie I was pretty terrified filming 'Daylight', we had a very small time frame – about 20 minutes around sunset – to film this epic, slow motion movement based video on a hill just outside Ararat. I was so worried I wouldn't be able to nail it in time but the director for both clips – Emily Dynes – and the girls at Majella Productions were so incredibly supportive and professional. Whereas I was less personally involved in the video for 'Better,' I got to excitedly watch from the sidelines while Mel and Ned brought Sian Kelly's incredibly choreography to life.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
Sannia: While I love putting music together in a studio and experimenting with effects and textures, I think I feel a lot more free onstage. I love that live space between performing as a musician, and communicating a story or an emotion to a group of people that care about what you have to say. I think that's really special.
Question: What should we expect from your upcoming launches?
Sannia: Laughter. I think I make up for the fact that I primarily write sadgirlTM pop with a lot of self-deprecating humour which seems to go down well? I actually can't control myself, sometimes the band will start playing to shut me up it's shocking. You should come see it for yourself, I'm truly ridiculous.
Question: Which is your favourite song to perform live and why?
Sannia: I actually think it changes after every gig because the concept of a 'favourite' depends on the audience, some audiences will react to a particular song on one night and then another people won't respond nearly as much to it and that connection is really what drives me. Performing live itself is my favourite thing to do, the fun part is changing up the songs. Some nights we'll come off stage and say, 'wow, they really loved […]' tonight, and that could be 3 different songs in one week.
Question: If you could have anyone, in the world, attend a show, who would it be?
Sannia: This is such a great question and I have SO many potential answers but right now I'll say John Mayer, because the man is a genius, and also because he's absolutely unafraid of brutal honesty. I know any feedback from him on my songwriting or performance would be informed and constructive. And also because I want him to sing 'In Your Atmosphere' at me for the rest of my days.
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
Sannia: Angie McMahon's Salt album on repeat, I think 'Soon' might be one of my favourite releases of this year. I'm also rediscovering my love for David Bowie at the moment.
Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
Sannia: Honestly, I don't remember ever wanting to do anything else, I'm not sure what it was because I was the only one in the family interested in music but that was just where I wanted to end up right from the start. I wasn't even into sports or had any other hobbies I was that one kid you'd find in the school's music department 24/7!
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
Sannia: There's so many people honestly but the first one that came to mind just now would be Matt Corby, I think he's got one of the best voices to come out of this country not to mention the way he writes and produces his music. I'll never forget how he closed his Melbourne show in 2015 with A Change Is Gonna Come, I'm fairly sure I had an out of body experience.
Question: Can you share your socials?
Sannia: I absolutely can, you can follow my antics on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube at @sanniamusic. Free beer if you follow me on Spotify. Promise.
Interview by Brooke Hunter