Under the moniker Sugar Nap, Caleb Kallander writes, engineers, and produces indie rock and folktronica out of his home studio in Des Moines, Washington. Influenced by folk and psychedelic movements of the 60’s and 70’s, 80’s and 90's alternative rock, hip hop, indie, avant-garde and various electronic genres, Sugar Nap’s music is defined by experimental, dreamy, and multicolored sonic textures, accompanied by whimsical and esoteric lyricism including both traditional and experimental instrumentation that administer an immersive, caramelly listening experience.
Talk to us about your latest single!
My latest single is “Harms”, and it’s available everywhere February 18th! I wrote the song while on a solo backpacking trip on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula, camping out on a beach on the northern part of the Peninsula in a favorite secret spot. The song was sort of a storytelling character study. The recording process was very analog and sort of inspired by “Space Oddity” by David Bowie. I love how dreamy that song is, and I wanted this song to feel sort of dreamy too, fading in and out and with a really spacey bridge section.
Why did you pick that name for the single?
The name of the single, “Harms”, is what’s repeated the most in the chorus so it made sense for the song title. It’s about self sabotage in a way, sort of like the song Desperado. You can’t keep running, because it will hurt you by the end of it all. ‘And it gives her harms’, is the chorus lyric. All the little things add up after a while.
Does it ever get stressful when you have to come up with a title?
It can get stressful when coming up with a song title. Especially for songs that don’t have one main lyric for the chorus or instrumentals. Sometimes a lyric in the song just doesn’t quite work for a song title, so I try to create a phrase or series or words that phonetically emit a certain emotional reaction similar to what I want to achieve in the song.
What was challenging about the single?
There wasn’t anything too challenging about this single. Everything from the beginning was pretty smooth. The writing came smoothly, the recording process was smooth, and mixing was pretty smooth as well. I just overhauled my studio so it was a breeze dialing in tones and mixing the song down. I guess the most challenging thing was just getting to know my new gear to find their sweet spots which really wasn’t hard to do.
What kind of journey do you want to take your fans on when they listen to the song?
In “Harms” I’d love to take listeners on a journey through the life of this character in the song. It’s sort of dreamy, so to drift in and out about this sun soaked tattooed lady running from love is sort of the idea. She can do anything and always has something to talk about and can be anybody she wants to get whatever she wants, but she’s still running. It’s not very conclusive, just sort of a snapshot. Who knows where she ends up. The song is just a picture of this character at a certain time, I suppose.
What can you not wait for about your upcoming music?
Honestly, I just can’t wait to be out playing live again. With COVID and all the other stuff that’s slowed down live music, that’s what’s really getting me excited. Playing live is incredible for me.
Favorite reaction so far to the single from those who have heard it?
The mastering engineer who worked on this song and a few past songs of mine, Rachel Field from Resonant Mastering in Seattle (Fleet Foxes, Deep Sea Diver, Death Cab For Cutie, REM) said on multiple occasions that it was her favorite song of mine and that she liked it very much, and I guess I just loved that she went out of the way a few times to tell me how much she liked working on the song. It meant a lot to me. We aren’t particularly close, so for such an acclaimed engineer to on a few occasions show her appreciation for the song when she gets so many songs coming through was really cool. Really looking forward to hearing what others have to say when the song comes out.
How does everyone go to listen?
You can stream the Sugar Nap stuff on any major streaming platform as well as my website. My website should have the highest fidelity streaming, but Tidal is fantastic and Spotify does a good enough job. If you’re on YouTube you can also peep my live band videos and other cool content like behind the scenes mixing and engineering and more.
Drop a hint of a surprise you have a instore next!
Well, as far as hints go for upcoming projects, I’ll be working with a few musicians who have really “been around the block” and know their stuff. A [Seattle] local favorite who has played drums for an award winning movie soundtrack and much more will be joining me for a couple songs. The recording is already done and it was such a treat. Can’t wait to share more.
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