On March 5th, South African-born, Brooklyn-based artist Sulene released her new EP, he•don•ic, on Trash Casual.
The five songs on the EP dive deep into her struggles with alcohol addiction, depression, and hedonic pleasures, and finding a way out of these destructive cycles.
Sulene’s dark lyricism is juxtaposed by dancey, sexy beats strewn with synth and guitar that she describes as a “gothic disco party.”
This vulnerable-meets-underground club aesthetic is found on songs like “identity crisis” and “photo booth”, both questioning bad habits she’s encountered in her life.
Written at the start of the pandemic, “diner coffee” brings a more slowed down, sullen moment to the record as Sulene states “I promise to be useful” – a nod towards needing to create while blocking out depression.
For Sulene, writing he•don•ic was a painful and difficult process, but also one that allowed her to experiment with music in a new way.
Exploring a darker side of her character and production, Sulene wrote, recorded, and produced the entire EP out of her apartment in Brooklyn, NY. She also delved into filming and editing her own music videos and artwork, giving a full 360-degree view of her newest art.
Speaking on the release, Sulene stated:
he•don•ic explores my relationship with hedonism and addiction. Lyrically it speaks an uncomfortable truth and sonically it makes me wanna be in the club; a contradiction I find intriguing.
This is definitely a fair overview or the EP. Each song is introspective in its own way, with Sulene analyzing her habits and tendencies, as well as her mental state. Sulene is heavily critical of her relationships with others, and her indulgences and dependencies.
At the same time, the pounding, synth-heavy beats remind the listener of going out at night and partying with friends at clubs. It is a truly interesting contradiction, especially now in a time when clubs have been completely empty for almost a year.
With the release of the he•don•ic EP, Sulene has broken new ground as an artist, bringing an experimental and refreshing take on pop music. You can stream he•don•ic here now and purchase the EP on vinyl here.