The Nashville-based, psychedelic-pop-rock group, SWEETTALKER, shares “Tomorrow” ahead of their EP, ‘Paradise.’ The debut project is over a year in the making and drenched in groove. The band kicked off the year in March, sharing lead single “Goodbye” on Friday the 13th. Following the devastation a tornado brought through their East Nashville neighborhood just a few days before, the band pivoted their single premiere to a benefit show at The Purple Building.
That evening during soundcheck, the whispers of threatening implications from the novel virus turned to warning as local news broke advising Nashville venues to close immediately due to COVID-19 safety concerns. Before packing their instruments away for the foreseeable future, the band captured a live performance of “Goodbye,” ensuring the moment of the eerily fulfilled prophecy would not be lost. The proceeding singles, “Far Away,” and today’s “Tomorrow,” were shared under a strict new band policy of no Friday the 13th release dates.
“Tomorrow” serves as the opening track for ‘Paradise’ due this fall. As one of the group’s early works, the song marks a turning point in their career. “When we got it done, we sort of just looked at each other. It felt like for the first time we had written a song that was a progression for us,” SWEETTALKER remembered about the moment that led them to record in the studio. The experimental intro introduces a new level of funk that they believe is a thematic entrance to the EP. Dynamic instrumentation sets the tone for a genre-bending overture for the band. ‘Paradise’ is a sonic delineation, carving out a soundscape in Music City that is undeniably SWEETTALKER.
Founding members, David Brown and Ryan Pattengale, first met in a Facebook group as young aspiring artists. They were cyber pals for a few years before Ryan went to Georgia to feature in David’s new music video. “So, I drove eight hours in my Honda Civic to meet him,” Ryan recalled. After a short stint in LA, Ryan convinced David to join him in Nashville. “I was like, ‘let’s do it together. If we’re going to suffer, let’s suffer together’. That’s the prequel,” said Ryan. “We were born to be best buds. We decided to be good friends before we even met. And then I suppose we weren’t disappointed when we did.”
The two had a mutual friend in Atlanta who worked for Grammy-nominated producer Matt Goldman. They visited the studio several times over the last few years to record different singles, and a friendship blossomed.
“We were playing a show in Atlanta a couple of years ago, and we stopped in the studio to say hello and pet the cat and whatever. And I said ‘Man, if you ever want to make a record that sounds as damn close as we can get to the Beach Boys and ELO and the Beatles I was like You know I feel like you’re the only guy I know that could do this,” Ryan recalled.
David and Ryan were surprised when Matt’s ears perked up at the offer. “I had this sort of respect for him like you respect your friend’s dad. You’re kind of scared of them a little bit, but you also want to joke around and kind of want to impress him, but you don’t want to seem like an idiot,” Ryan laughed.
Last year, they took a hiatus from their road life and turned their attention to the studio. They began sending demos back and forth between Nashville and Atlanta. After big developers bought Matt’s studio, he came up to Nashville to start pre-production. “We had to go guerilla-style in the recording process,” Ryan shared. The band traveled to different studios across the southeast as the EP came together bit by bit. “We went to one studio north of here, on the border of Tennessee and Kentucky,” David shared. “It was a church in a trailer park,” Ryan interjected. “It was really boomy and metal. You could tell the church had just been built, by hand, with cheap material. But, man, we got some great sounds.”
With the help of dear friends, the project materialized from this satellite location. Joel Parks, friend, and up-and-coming producer, joined them in the trailer park, working as co-producer for his first official project. “We had our good friends Chase and Mike on keys, our buddy Rocco, just so many to thank. People didn’t mind driving to Jellico, Tennessee, to lay down their parts, which was cool,” Ryan shared.
Through the help of another musical cohort, the band found themselves in the legendary Oceanway studio. “We looked at each other like what the hell are we doing here,” they laughed about their luck. Preceded by Elvis and Johnny Cash, SWEETTALKER recorded strings and a choir, and “all this magical stuff at this magical studio.”
The final product is impending ‘Paradise.’ This fall, SWEETTALKER will deliver their debut, dreamlike collection. In the meantime, they plan to “just keep it rolling.” Watch the video for “Tomorrow” below.