“A near perfect encapsulation of the ’80s synth-pop ethos, with its cool, languid beat, irresistible hooks, and absolutely massive choruses – and made all the more so by her sly vocal aplomb” – Blackbook Magazine
“A pop bounce surrounded by ’80s feels and spacey synths.” – Alternative Press
Today, South African-born, Brooklyn-based artist Sulene released her new EP, he•don•ic on Trash Casual. The five songs on the EP dive deep into her struggles with alcohol addiction, depression, and hedonic pleasures, and finding a way out of these destructive cycles. Sulene’s dark lyricism is juxtaposed by dancey, sexy beats strewn with synth and guitar that she describes as a “gothic disco party”. This vulnerable-meets-underground club aesthetic is found on songs like “identity crisis” and “photo booth”, both questioning bad habits she’s encountered in her life. Written at the start of the pandemic, closer “diner coffee” brings a more slowed down, sullen moment to the record as Sulene states “I promise to be useful” – a nod towards needing to create while blocking out depression.
For Sulene, writing he•don•ic was a painful and difficult process, but also one that allowed her to experiment with music in a new way. Exploring a darker side of her character and production, Sulene wrote, recorded, and produced the entire EP out of her apartment in Brooklyn, NY. She also delved into filming and editing her own music videos and artwork, giving a full 360-degree view of her newest art. With the release of the he•don•ic EP, Sulene has broken new ground as an artist, bringing an experimental and refreshing take on pop music. You can stream he•don•ic here now and purchase the EP on vinyl here.
Speaking on the release, Sulene stated: “he•don•ic explores my relationship with hedonism and addiction. Lyrically it speaks an uncomfortable truth and sonically it makes me wanna be in the club; a contradiction I find intriguing.”
Growing up in Cape Town, South Africa, Sulene moved to the US at nineteen years old with dreams of starting a career in music. Fast forward a few years and the multi-faceted, Brooklyn-based artist is living out that dream creating her own music, as well as writing scores for film and television, and even finds time to be a touring guitarist. Since 2015, she’s toured stages worldwide as the guitarist for Nate Ruess’ (of fun.live band, appearing everywhere from Jimmy Kimmel Live! to the East Room of the White House, performing for President Obama. As a multi-instrumentalist, she has written original music and performed on the scores for several TV shows, films, and commercials such as Ray Donovan and The Affair, as well as spots for Nike, Microsoft, Dior, and many more. Though her experience is vast, her newest work speaks the loudest in terms of her unique voice.