Sundae Drives have released their new single “Coloring Books” on all platforms. This will begin their autumn 2020 release journey of #medicinemusic, Volume One.
“Coloring Books” is a fitting single to launch Sundae Drives’ multi-volume collection #medicinemusic as it, “is a song about taking ownership of your story and being proud to tell it. It may not be a glorious one, but it’s yours,” shares singer-songwriter Adam Lee. It prepares the listener for the story of #medicinemusic through the confessive honesty of the lyrics and melody, supported by the naked vulnerability of the acoustic guitar, yet finding security in the warmth of the keys and the percussion’s steady heartbeat. Sundae Drives worked with the amazing Noah Smith for the engineering and co-producing of the track.
We were thrilled to chat with Adam and Nick about this journey of #medicinemusic.
Adam: We had a really crazy 2020 mapped out so when multiple tours were cancelled and a lot of our goals for this year had to be put on hiatus we were crushed and so we had to ask ourselves "where do we go from here artistically ?". This project is our answer to that. It's a five part Volume series that we simply titled by using our longtime social media hashtag. Each Volume is equivalent to a short EP, full of quintessential Sundae Drives flavor & the kind of substance & content that we're known for. Some of these songs are five years old and have never been recorded before and some of these songs we wrote last month. The theme is that we believe in all of them and so with our release schedule we'll be dropping every single song as a "single" even if it's just for two or three weeks until the next song drops, it will get it's life as a single for that period of time, with our focus on promoting that particular song and sharing it with our listeners. The collection of songs from Volume One are being released thru out this fall season and Volume Two is scheduled for late winter / early spring 2021.
Nick: We've seen a lot of artists we love and respect record a full length album full of amazing material, they release it, it gets quickly digested and you don't hear from them for another year or so. After the pandemic hit and we decided this was the direction to go in, we had to figure out a format to release these songs in, and so this is what we came up with. The "#medicinemusic" name was too important to our brand and to our message to only exist on one collection of songs. We decided to spread out the release of these songs over a series of EP's (or Volumes) to keep the name "#medicinemusic" synonymous with our sound and what we believe this music is / can be. As for what to expect, we have an incredible team of super talented people and we're all working really hard to provide our supporters and future supporters with consistent content for the next year. There is a lot on the way.
What prompted the collaboration with Noah Smith?
Adam: When we decided that cutting this Volume series was the thing to do we had to go on a little hunt for the right place to track these songs at. We were looking for a smaller studio with more intimate vibes and a space where we could be freely creative and kind of be our quirky selves and take the unorthodox approaches that we like to take. After visiting a couple other places we landed at Thought Machine (Noah Smith's studio). We booked a session, fell in love with the vibes there and basically never left. It's an unlikely pairing but I think that's what makes it gnarly. The obvious choice isn't always the right one. We started cutting these tracks with Noah and early in the process we noticed he had some great ideas and as an engineer, really understood the balance of knowing when to let us do our thing & knowing when to make suggestions and challenge us. We enjoyed that chemistry so we asked him to sit in the engineer seat but wear the producer hat as well, and he obliged. So now here we are two Volumes into recording, with Noah co-producing these songs. And if know Noah Smith, you know he doesn't fuck around. When he believes in something he's all in. It's been great.
How have the past 7ish months been for you musically?
Nick: Wow, that's definitely a loaded question! We never try to focus on the negative but we also know the world can be a scary, uncertain place to exist in. With the pandemic keeping us away from touring and live performances, we've really missed the stage, playing for friends and strangers, taking people on that emotional rollercoaster ride, in person. I will say that going into the studio has really made us lock in on the material, turning bits and pieces of things into actual songs and making them into the completed versions, complete to our standards anyway. We are the type of band that doesn't necessarily write in format, we might write something that only has a verse and a chorus and we would take it to a stage. With our show schedule being pretty heavy last year, we felt like we were always rehearsing for the next performance and not focusing on calling songs "finished." Writing the parts for drums, bass and production behind our sound during the recording process has been a lot of fun for us. And I'd also say that we've always relied heavily on our chemistry as a duo and in the last seven months that's become even stronger.
Has being able to own and tell your story been freeing? What do you hope for the audience to learn from it?
Adam: Yeah...This saved my life, Sundae Drives saved my life. You hear a lot of people throw that term around loosely but music literally saved my life. I found out a long time ago, there are a lot of troubled souls in the world just looking for something therapeutic and inspirational. When I realized that my therapy could be their therapy (and vice versa) and that my inspiration could be their inspiration (and vice versa), it was a game changer. That's humility in sonic form. That's #medicinemusic.