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I have never been very good at discovering music on my own: books and reading are more my forte. When it comes to music I blindly follow the recommendations of others. When I heard of Sinnober and that one of its track’s titles was inspired by the Writings of the Baha’i Faith, my ears were definitely curious and I checked them out! I’m so glad I did!
The band is made up of Natalie and Sebastian Brice and Sebastian agreed to tell us a little about the band and their latest album, Projection. Here’s what he shared — I hope you enjoy our conversation!
Baha’i Blog: Could you please introduce yourselves and tell us a little bit about Sinnober?
We are Natalie and Sebastian Brice and Sinnober is the name of our songwriting partnership.
Sinnober is Danish for cinnabar, the red mercury mineral. The Danish link being that Denmark is where I was born and raised. In fact we stumbled on the word after looking through a Danish dictionary as a last attempt to find a suitable band name. I like that connection to my roots.
Also, our music is somewhat mercurial in that it merges elements of jazz, folk and rock, so the name seemed fitting.
Natalie and I are based in Frome, Somerset (UK). While we play most of the instruments on our albums (piano, bass, guitars, vocals) we were delighted to feature the immense talents of some local friends on this latest album. Heather Truesdall played cello, Dave Smith played drums, Dan Reid played flumpet & Daan Teemmink played accordion. These people are all great musicians in their own right and it enriched the sound of this album tenfold.
Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little bit about the album and its significance to you?
We have been writing together for quite a few years now. In the past we had a manager and there was always an underlying pressure to write a ‘single’. During that time we were fortunate to collaborate with many different musicians and writers and that process taught us a lot about creative integrity.
Projection feels like the first album where we have truthfully, both lyrically and musically, said what we wanted to say. The songs touch on everything from new parenthood to mental health, our disassociation to global injustices and our definition of what it means to be successful.
Baha’i Blog: Could you share a little about what inspires you? What inspires the lyrics for your songs and your melodies?
We are lucky to live close to some spectacular countryside and are always inspired by the shifting colours and smells. There’s a seasonal element to our albums that has definitely informed our sound. However, what usually tends to prompt a song is when one or both of us has a strong emotional response to a situation or experience. We are always listening intently to great artists and songwriters that we keep coming back to such as Joni Mitchell, Seals & Crofts, and Jimmy Webb.
We have different ways of approaching new ideas — Natalie will grab a pen and paper and start writing, while I usually come at it from a melodic perspective and we meet somewhere in the middle.
Baha’i Blog: I read that the song “Angels of Fire and Snow” was inspired by the Baha’i Writings. Could you tell us a little about that?
Natalie had just been to a Baha’i weekend school in Builth Wells and one of the workshops was about life after death. Death isn’t something we openly embrace in Western culture, yet it is such a vital part of our human experience. This song is about glimpsing the mystical in the everyday.
It’s also about the mind-made limitations we place on ourselves and how there’s often a sense of holding back and waiting for the right moment, when really what we need to do is jump in.
Baha’i Blog: What was the process of working on this like for you personally?
We were very lucky to be able to record this album at our studio (www.indefrastudio.com), so in that sense, we weren’t working to a deadline and could take the time needed to let each song find its own identity. We have a two year old son so most of the songwriting/recording happens when he’s asleep!
Baha’i Blog: Thank you so much, Sebastian, for taking the time to share this with us!
Projection is available to stream/buy from all the major outlets via this link: song.link/projection You can also get CD’s, signed copies and merchandise via Bandcamp: www.sinnober.bandcamp.com. You can find Sinnober on Facebook or Instagram, or sign up to their mailing list on www.sinnober.com if you’d like to keep up with future releases and gigs.
Here is the music video to “Angels of Fire and Snow”:
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