Then-single and ready to mingle, Steven Blake tried his hand in the Washington, DC dating scene. “Like most young adults living in the area, the single life of a brand new city seemed all too exciting at the time,” he remembers. As frontman of indie-pop band Animal Sun, he soon found that initial rush fading “in a world dominated by online validation.” He would much later put pen to paper to work those feelings, and with the release of “every word,” he returns to that deep emotional well.
“After several bad first dates, I became inspired by the nightlife most young people experience while struggling to find meaningful relationships in this modern age,” he explains. “We’re a generation of loneliness, desperately craving connection or approval from our peers. Doing so has led to a warped perception on dating in our late teens-early twenties. No one wants to really commit to anything, but they want all of the comforts of a partner without any of the responsibilities.”
“Social media has made this increasingly toxic for us and the more we consume, the more we find ourselves in situations with the wrong people. It’s usually about five minutes into these exchanges that we realize we hate every word this other person is actually saying,” he adds. “After nothing in common is realized we fall prey to the same cycle time and time again until maybe one day, we finally get it right. At least it will be somewhat entertaining until then?”
The group’s new song “every word” pulses with dance-floor euphoria, electric guitars sizzling in a neon-soaked blanket of synths and percussion. “But your whisper’s louder than the arctic breeze / And I keep my thoughts buried inside of me / I bite my tongue when I think of you and me,” Blake sings.
In the accompanying visual, dazzling with bright pink hues and a classic diner aesthetic, Blake shines on screen, as he attempts to make sense of the emotions clawing in his chest. “I hate every word you say / But I break from every move you make,” he laments on the chorus, deceptively shiny and chipper. “I’ll fake it when I can’t relate to you / No wonder why I’m feeling down, down, down, down.”
“Sarcastic honesty” plays against a warm, punk-ish backdrop. Often calling upon such influences as The Killers, The 1975, and Nothing But Thieves, Animal Sun have so-far notched a solid catalog of singles, including “girl in blue” and “Still Believe.”
As evidenced in much of their work, the group ─ also comprised of William Alton (drums), Tyler DeCastro (keyboard, percussion), and Adam Gardner (bass) ─ sifts through “hardship and overcoming tragedy” for lyrical content. “Whether that be with our own personal lives or the world around us, we felt no shortage of either of these this past year. We feel these batch songs are the deepest we’ve gone since this band’s conception, and we couldn’t be more excited to share it with the world.”
“every word,” produced by Aaron “Zeus” Zepeda inside his Burbank home studio, anchors Animal Sun’s forthcoming debut LP, echoes of a dream, expected later this year.