ALBUM PREMIERE: Sonja Midtune Revels in Nostalgia with Sweeping, Pop-laden Americana on ‘Dreams Melt Away’

Flush with momentum after the success of her early 2019 single “My Light” and its popular video, Sonja Midtune was starting to look into updating gems from her back catalog for possible release when fate intervened and she fractured her leg. Faced with sudden immobility, rehab, and a fresh set of mental/emotional challenges, the resilient L.A. based indie-Americana singer/songwriter began reflecting on her life to date – and penned four of the most compelling, emotionally cathartic songs of her career. She will be sharing them on her new EP Dreams Melt Away, set for release on April 2nd.

The title of the EP comes from a key line in “October,” her gently lilting but lyrically restless and longing song that she calls “a reckoning of all pain. Pain from setbacks, injury, and your own anger.” Sonja sings, “I don’t want more and I don’t want less/October come, don’t let me rest/I’m so tired, I’m tired, I’m tired of/Staying inside with the hot sunshine, watching my dreams melt away. . .”

Learning to cope with her injury-related limitations and dealing with an existential crisis –  wondering if the setback was a sign that she shouldn’t continue the pursuit of her musical dreams – Sonja invokes a sense of nostalgia, artfully connecting her past and present as she chooses to move ahead. “When you move away from home, the newness stings as you are ripped from familiarity,” she says. “Over time you adapt. You have to, and you do. It can be painful or it can be easy, but it happens and you have no control.

Today Glide is excited to offer an exclusive premiere of the new EP. Beginning with the dreamy and wistful country-tinged ballad “Wildflowers,” the EP’s four tracks encapsulate Sonja’s unique talent as a singer-songwriter. “October” is a sweet and enchanting, pop-laced Americana tune that builds a sense of infectious drama, while “Pretty Please” is easy-going and nostalgic and “Los Angeles” feels buoyant and reflective as Sonja uses the lyrics to explore her love/hate relationship with her adopted hometown. Over the course of these four tracks, Sonja manages to straddle the line between dramatic and catchy pop, and earthy folk and Americana. She does this all with a sense of honesty and confidence that signals her potential to catch on with larger audiences. 

Listen to the EP and read our chat with Sonja below…

How long did you spend writing the songs that made it onto this EP?

I didn’t plan on making an EP originally; I just started writing a new deck of songs. After performing “Wildflowers” out at The Hotel Café, I felt like I needed a full set just to go with that song. I wrote “Los Angeles” with Katie Ferrara pre-pandemic in early 2020, then wrote “Pretty Please” and finished “October” in the summer. They’re all tied together with themes of nostalgia, growing up, looking back, and feeling lost.

What was the recording session like? Did you record before the pandemic started or during the pandemic? Got any great studio stories to share?

We did it all during the pandemic! August to October 2020. My producer, Justin Glasco, streamlined the remote recording process. I did my demos at home, then we built the tracks out over Zoom. He played most of the instruments, then I went to his studio for one weekend to do all my vocals and guitars. We got tested and quarantined beforehand, and it was still fun. No crazy stories, just a lot of good vibes.

Your lyrics are really lovely. Do you have a favorite lyric line or two on the EP? Why do those words resonate for you? How about a favorite song among them?

I like the choruses in “October.” They really encompass everything I was feeling at the time, and they’re really cathartic to sing. “I’m so tired, so tired, so tired giving my best to a city that lost my trust, made me a diamond and turned me into rust.”

Your music has a very organic, Americana vibe to it. How did you come to settle on the Sonja Midtune sound?

It’s a natural step forward from my last release, “Pages,” which was just a simple arrangement with guitar, voice, and cello. We used natural instruments like before, focused on my voice, and let the lyrics lead the way. Then Justin sprinkled in some instruments that I haven’t used before, like Mellotron, baritone guitar, etc. I’m really happy with how it turned out! I think playing shows for years has fine-tuned the sound, but working with Justin really brought it to life.

What do you hope listeners take away from hearing this EP? What do you take away from having recorded these particular songs?

I feel very “seen” with these songs. They truly represent me. I hope listeners are able to dive into their own world while listening, instead of mine. The EP is designed to make you feel nostalgic, think deeply, trigger memories, and feel good!

Photo credit: Michelle Lanning

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