Suntrodden was born in 2013 as the songwriting vehicle for Erik Stephansson. Austin Town Hall has called Erik "a pop songwriter with the gift" and New Noise Magazine described his music as having a “breezy, minimal feeling that leaves an indelible mark via lo-fi and warm alt-rock jangling.” Suntrodden’s initial release I came in February 2016 and was followed by II in October 2016.
Now comes Suntrodden III - A set of five songs delving into the struggle to preserve the depth of one's self-identity in a sound-byte culture. According to Erik, "This record is about re-discovering your core and not succumbing to the distractions that put you at risk." The Bends-era Radiohead-esque single "Pure" grapples with this sentiment: "We used to be a prophecy; Nothing's a sure thing...if we can't stay pure."
As with his first two EPs, III took shape in Erik’s Atlanta-based Echo Bright Studios. Erik continues to keep a minimalist production approach wrapping his airy vocals in gauzy organs, warm analog synths, and chiming guitars. His songs remain a “love letter to stripped down songwriting” with streamlined song structures highlighting Erik’s thoughtful lyrics.
While Elliott Smith and Beach House remain stylistic touchstones, Suntrodden III draws inspiration from a diverse range of influences, including the Beach Boys, Nirvana, and Miles Davis. Lyrically, Erik tapped themes from Surrealist paintings, theology, sociology, and literature to bend the perspective of his writing.
With III, Suntrodden’s hazy vision has expanded, but the well-crafted songwriting has remained sharp. If previous efforts carried you “off into a dream,” Suntrodden III is the realization that we don't have to wake up.