Premiere: Sunnsetter – “Attic Son”


Attic Son stretches into every crevasse of the attic it was recorded in. Like Andrew McLeod’s (Sunnsetter) previous record It Was Winter and I Wrote Some Songs…, it’s a mix of ambient and folk songs, lo-fi and more curated recordings. Numerous times, McLeod presses play on his recorder and we hear, in one take, what comes out naturally. At the end of “I Also Miss The Sun,” McLeod gets up and walks away – maybe to check to see if spring has arrived – and “Born” grows distorted when he gets too close to the microphone.

But elsewhere, McLeod songs unfurl and stand up tall. “The Closest to Hell (That I Would Ever Wish to Be)” is McLeod’s most accomplished song yet, the broody “The Hope to One Day Build a Place Where I Can Grow” casts a long, dark shadow over the record while the all instrumental “Truth Be Told” makes me think McLeod has seen buds on the trees and the song is a sigh of relief.

Take in Attic Son below:

Last Sunday, I chatted by phone with Andrew who was in Woodstock on break from a band practice. It had been snowing heavily and he references his treacherous car ride from Toronto. I, on the other hand, didn’t leave the house in an attempt to hide from winter. I listened to his new album a bunch that day and I told him how relevant “I Also Miss The Sun” is for me. Here’s an excerpt from that conversation:

Laura Stanley: What is it about winter that seemingly inspires you?

AM: Basically every time I write an album, I write it in the winter. I work a lot in the summer so I’ll take a couple of months off and then write in the winter.  [Attic Son] was a bit different because I wrote some of the songs earlier in the year. For my last album, [It was Winter and I Wrote Some Songs…] I was severely depressed and I had to write a bunch of songs and it was winter so it came out that way. 

I have a lot of nostalgic songs associated with childhood and looking back on your life so I feel like that’s a prominent theme with [Attic Son] but the winter thing comes out because I recorded it in the winter.

LS: So you recorded the album in an attic – where is this attic?

AM: My Mom’s house in Fort Eerie. It’s basically my music space because there’s not really anywhere to have one in the city. The attic plays a role for me in terms of the recording. In my older stuff and in this, I have a tendency to capture the environment a lot. I feel like the attic is basically like a character in the album. Especially with songs like “Someone to Know,” I recorded it on the fly, in one take. I just had a microphone in the middle of the room and I picked up all the sounds in the room. It’s on purpose to make you feel like you’re in the room.

LS: About It was Winter and I Wrote Some Songs… you write on Bandcamp: “I’ve been sitting on these songs for a few months not knowing what to do because like everything I’ve ever done they are not “finished”…” Is Attic Son a finished product?

AM: It’s really sort of the same [as It was Winter and I Wrote Some Songs…]. Honestly, every time I record music, it’s the same thing. For this album, I had these really big ideas – “Closest To Hell” is the most realized song and it’s what I wanted to do with the whole album. I wanted to make all of the songs into these bigger produced tracks but there’s limitations when it comes to my willpower to go back and do things to songs after I’ve recorded them.

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