Artist Feature: Sunnsetter

Planetary Group took some time to get to know Sunnsetter…


Planetary Group: Tell us about your latest release. How did you come to create it?

S: The concept for this album began in 2019, while I was still working on the album I put out in 2020 called “The Love You Withhold Is The Pain You Carry”. I was writing a lot of different music and experimenting with different styles. The album that I was putting out at the time had gotten really overloaded. I released that album with 20 songs on it, which I know is a lot. The stuff I was writing at the time started to feel more refined, so I made it a separate project. But obviously 2020 was a very strange time because of COVID, but also because a very close friend of mine who I had been living with for awhile went missing, and we later found out that they had passed away. That obviously shaped a lot of my experiences, not just artistically, but my entire life.

So from then on, I started writing a lot of new stuff, I met my partner, and we ended up moving to a very rural area. I’ve been sober from alcohol for 5 years, and that experience has changed me in a way I can’t really explain. A lot of artistic projects that I’ve done in the past were rooted in depression and anxiety. I’ve tried so hard to build a healthier lifestyle for myself. It’s reflected in the art and music I’m making now; I’m trying to express that I want to be in a better place emotionally. I want to create art and music that genuinely reflects how I feel, so “The Best That I Can Be.” made sense as the title for this album.


PG: Let’s talk about the music that you love…

S: My biggest inspirations, (there’s a lot of them), are Mount Eerie, Bedhead (an early 90s slow core band), My Bloody Valentine, Sigur Rós, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Broken Social Scene, and KC Accidental. I really like doom metal and black metal, heavy music like that. I enjoy deep, powerful music.


PG: Share a bit about your musical journey, from when you first started making music until now.

S: I’ve been playing music for a very long time. I started when I was 10 years old with the guitar and piano. In my early 20s, I moved away to school, met some friends, and was in a couple bands. I was friends with someone who was already into production and did film scores, so I started doing a lot of film scores, and it took me down this path of exploration. When I was 20, I started learning a lot about music production, arrangement, and instrumentation—things I had never really understood before, coming from a background of playing in metal bands in high school. I had this Soundcloud page back in the day where I would upload countless tracks of me experimenting with different genres and styles and production techniques. I learned a lot about music production that way, but it wasn’t until 2016 when I took on the name Sunsetter that I started to take my projects more seriously.

I released an album every year up until 2020. The first album I put out under that name was in 2017 called “Worrybody.” It was my first fully-realized album… because before that I was just putting out singles. I put out “The Love You Withhold Is The Pain You Carry” in 2020, and in 2022, I put out a purely ambient album called “All watched over by machines of loving grace”. It’s been 3 years since I put out a full length album. And in that time, I’ve learned a lot about music production, mixing, and recording, and just trying to make my music sound as good as it can, which is why I thought the name “The Best That I Can Be.” made a lot of sense.


PG: What do you want people to take away from your music?

S: I want people to take away from my music whatever they want. I want people to have a genuine experience listening to my music. I make music because I have to. I want to people to be able to sense the moods and atmospheres, and be able to put themselves in those spaces any way they want to. That’s really all I care about. I make music for myself but also because I want to make music people can like. It’s not that I want to make radio-friendly music… I want to make music that’s genuine to me and so that other people can listen to say, “Wow, I feel something listening to this.” That’s the most important thing to me.


PG: What’s next up for you?

S: I’m building a touring band and playing shows with my project and a few others. I’m working on new music as always, and I have a lot of music that’s coming together into a cohesive project, but I don’t know what it is yet. I can’t really say what it’s going to be because I’ll never really know until it’s done!


Thanks to Sunnsetter for speaking with us! Check out their new album released on March 31, 2023 on Bandcamp:


“Sunnsetter: The best That I can be.”