South for Winter Talks to Us About a New Single Leading up to a Debut Album!
Fusing elements of blues, classical, folk and gypsy music, South For Winter was formed in September 2017 by New Zealander Nick Stone, Coloradan Dani Cichon, and Michigander Alex Stradal. The trio quickly dug their heels into the Nashville music scene, releasing two EPs and completing both a 15-state national tour, followed by an international tour to Canada all in one year! This year for South For Winter has been exciting, to say the least. The trio released 3 singles, all leading up to their greatly anticipated debut full-length album! Kicking off an exciting 2019 and gaining traction for the upcoming project, South For Winter released “Twine” in April.
“Twine” is ultimately a freeing love ballad, and introduces the new trio’s established sound. This was soon followed up with “Ten Black Crows”, another folk anthem but with darker lyricism and a completely versatile and unpredictable sound. Now in November, South For Winter releases “All We Have” and I have to say this is my personal favorite of the year so far! Gentle and mellow by nature, but decidedly big seeming overall, the sentiment and the way the chords and the melody unite helps build a sense of togetherness, vastness, and possibility. South for Winter is now recording their debut album in Nashville with Grammy-nominated producer Matt Leigh of The Tracking Room, all while they still work full-time jobs.
Listen to South for Winter’s music here!
Hey guys, welcome back! We're completely captivated by your new single, you have such a strong and warming presence throughout your tracks. Can you tell us more about your intentions when you first began to write “All We Have”?
Nick: Thanks so much! “All We Have” began years ago as a guitar idea and lyrical concept that I’d had while doing volunteer work out in Cambodia. Some of these communities have had very little, but the people were some of the happiest I’d seen. This inspired my perspectives on a minimalistic lifestyle and brought to mind the song lyrics of “All we have is what we need, where the sky touches the sea” and “If this is all we have, it’s enough for us.” After years of trying to write the song a few times and struggling to make it say what I wanted to, I met Dani. Her ability with lyrics brought the song to its full potential.
You've had such a strong love and passion for music throughout your career together! How do you think South For Winter and your music have grown since you first started writing, versus now?
Dani: Thanks, Jennifer! It feels like we’ve grown a lot in our two years as a band, but the biggest difference in our music now is probably the production. With our first songs and recordings, we were definitely a folk band, and we performed that way live as well. But since our debut album is being fully-produced by the awesome Matt Leigh, with multiple layers and a great rock rhythm session (Chris Kearney gets credit for the beats), we’re starting to write and play more like an indie-rock band with folk elements rather than as an acoustic folk band. It’s been really fun to figure out how to bring that recorded sound to the stage, like by Nick adding a suitcase kick drum to our setup, Nick and Alex both adding pedalboards to their instruments to make the sound feel bigger, and having me play more instruments or percussion live.
Tell us about the writing process as a band for your April 2019 single “Twine"
Nick: That one was fun to write because it happened so effortlessly - I came home from work, and Dani had basically written the whole song in one sitting. The melodies were strong and reminded me of a lot of the Paper Kites and Ben Howard (both artists I love), making it easy to craft guitar parts that matched them. The song felt like it wanted to naturally build, and it fits with apart from an old instrumental I’d written in the past. This turned into the rhythm change at the bridge. Once Alex added in his incredible cello parts, it naturally completed the song.
"All We Have" is the perfect song to release to gain traction for your album. Where did you draw inspiration for this particular track?
Alex: Thank you, we appreciate that. And we hope so! We didn’t really have an artist in mind as inspiration when we wrote and recorded All We Have; we sort of just let it evolve with the addition of every creative mind along the way. For example, our drummer/percussionist, Chris, tried several different rhythms that didn’t feel right until he played that back-beat that comes in at the first chorus. That really added to the feel of the song. Our producer, Matt, had the idea for the ambient “synthy” sound at the beginning (which is actually just me playing cello swells through my pedalboard). While we knew all along what vibe we wanted, we were pleasantly surprised when the pieces came together and we got there!
Can you give us any hints about your new album? (ie release date, title)
Dani: Currently, our release is planned for around May 2020 (give or take a month). We can definitely say we will be releasing several more singles leading up to it, though, with the next one coming out this January. There’ll be a new single released about every 6 weeks after that until the album is fully released next year. In regards to the album title, we’ve been playing around with that. It’s so tough to choose! We will say the title will be a reflection of the eclectic range of music on the album - for instance, something to do with parallels, light vs dark, yin & yang, that sort of idea. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s chosen! If anyone who’s reading is struck with inspiration for it - let us know!
It was great having you here on BuzzMusic! Tell us more about what's next for you after this single release? Any shows in the near future?
Nick: Thanks for having us! We’ve got some exciting things coming up. We’ll be releasing a music video soon for All We Have, which we filmed on Vancouver Island (so it’ll feature some pretty stunning scenery!). We just finished up a tour on the PNW Coast (unfortunately couldn’t make it to LA this time) which took us through incredible areas like Vancouver BC, Colorado, Utah, Washington. Our next US tour is scheduled for March next year - we’ll be hitting up the East Coast and going through New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, etc.
Dani: We’ll be releasing that next single in January 2020, with a video to follow for that soon after as well. And we’re now planning our first tour of Europe and the UK for July 2020. We keep pretty busy, so if anyone who’s reading wants to follow the journey on Facebook or Instagram, we’ll be putting out a lot of content in the next few months!