Synth pop duo SINES is comprised of Jason Wann and Kitty Richardson. The fact that the two artists have never actually met in person makes no difference. Producer, composer, synth nut and DJ Jason Wann is based in Portland, and singer/songwriter, visual artist and director Kitty Richardson is based in England. They’re able to collaborate with an ocean in between them, relying on each other’s strengths and talents. Wann and Richardson just released their first full album together, called “Gravity,” in early September. Wann, has said that though the project has released two albums and a few singles prior to “Gravity,” this album it truly what SINES was meant to be.
“The first album was me attempting to make my version of I what thought a modern pop record was. The second was made during lockdown and the less said about it, the better. A Series of Moments is to me, the first real SINES album because that’s when Kitty got involved. The songs are much darker lyrically and I think sonically I found more confidence as a producer and a writer and it just feels so much more cohesive than the first albums,” Wann says. The duo answered a few questions for us (Jason from Portland and Kitty from England).
Tell me how the two of you came together.
Jason: We came together in 2021 through a website called vocalizr whilst I was working on the album A Series of Moments. When Kitty sent back the first demo for the first song we did, I was absolutely gobsmacked and knew that I had to work with her in a larger scope. After that, we began work on what would become “Gravity” fairly immediately.
Kitty: I had been working with a bunch of different producers through vocalizr but my collaboration with Jason immediately felt different. That first song we worked on, “Something in the Way,” is still one of my favorite of ours.
How would you say your styles/talents complement each other?
Jason: Kitty is a proper musician whereas I’m self taught and we approach songwriting quite differently. I think our greatest strength is that we’re not really precious about ego and try to do what’s right for the song. I think we both push the other into unfamiliar territory at times and because of the trust we have, we’ll explore some wacky ideas.
Kitty: I’ve never been able to produce, and I’ve been trying for over 10 years… It’s amazing when Jason brings a simple idea I have to life. And when he sends me tracks to write a topline over, it often conjures up something I never would have thought of without his chord choices.
Tell me what it’s like to work with someone you’ve actually never met in person.
Jason: Not without its challenges. I’d love to have the experience of being in the studio at the same time and writing together and sharing that moment of creation but logistically it’s not really possible at this point. Finding time to connect is also a bit of a struggle, but we make it work. I feel bad for Kitty. I work fast and I am very prolific so I just BOMB her with song ideas and it’s nearly impossible to keep up with all the ideas.
Kitty: Jason certainly works A LOT faster than me but it’s nice to have this source of endless creativity in my text messages. It would be nice to write together in person but, thanks to the digital world, I actually think our current situation is pretty ideal.
I really loved the songs on “Gravity.” Tell me about the concept and how this came together?
Jason: The concept was based on, and inspired by, a lot of stuff that was formative in my youth. Books, films, music, etc. The idea of a lost man returning to a world he didn’t know was especially resonant for me due to my divorce, and was resonant with Kitty and her experience with autism. We both thought it was a strong concept and would be fun to write about. Even though “Gravity” takes some detours conceptually with a couple songs, we thought having a thematic idea would help focus our energies.
Kitty: I’ve never written an album with specific thematic material in mind— I typically just write whatever I’m feeling at the time. But this “assignment”, for lack of a better word, was super inspiring and the analogy of a man returning to earth to describe the autistic experience was just too perfect.
What does the release of this album mean to both of you? And, collectively as a duo?
Jason: For me, it’s a massive achievement. I’ve never worked on something of this scale before. The art, the videos, the concept, time it took, etc. It took us two years to make this record and do all the videos and whatnot. It was a huge undertaking and I’m so very proud of how it turned out.
As for us as a duo, I think it’s quite an opening statement and it’s a chance for us to build something together that’s greater than our own individual talents as partners and writers. I’m so thrilled for the next chapter(s).
Kitty: I’m so happy to finally release this album after such a long process. Jason is so fun to work with and so time really flew by but I am glad we finally got it to a place in which we were happy to release. I’m very proud of it!
What’s the reaction been like so far?
Jason: I don’t think many people have really grasped the totality of the project and that’s okay. I wanted Gravity to work on multiple levels. Partly because people don’t really listen to music, especially albums, the way they used to; which is a bit sad really. I wanted to make something that rewarded attention given and that would inspire repeated listening.
Kitty: As someone from a different generation to Jason, I’m seeing a really excited response amongst my family friends. My parents love being able to listen to the kind of sound that they grew up with and my friends love hearing something different to what’s been dominating the charts their whole lives. In terms of how it’s resonating with the wider audience, I can’t really speak to that but I do feel like one knowing the back story would increase enjoyment
Any plans for the next chapter?
Jason: We are hard at work on our next album called “Teenage Fantasy,” which we’re hoping to have done in 2024.
What do you hope listeners take from your music, and most specifically, this album?
Jason: I want to soundtrack someone’s life. I want our music to affect them in the way my favorite artists touched and inspired me. I want our music to have layers of sound and meaning that reveal themselves over time and repeated listenings. I want our music to be contemporary and yet timeless. This music is meant to outlast me. It’s my legacy.
Kitty: I would love for other neurodivergent people to listen to this album and find they can relate. Specially with the track Millenia, that one really feels like the truest depiction of the neurodivergent experience in a neurotypical world. I also hope people can have a good ol’ boogie to it.Link.tree: https://linktr.ee/sinesband
Youtube Channel: https://youtube.com/@sinesband?si=s_0PUFe124z0-iK–