The debut album from ATTLAS and Richard Walters’ new project Sun Lo is filled with powerful soundscapes and emotional lyrics.
ATTLAS and Richard Walters are two solo artists with storied careers but had never created music together until time stopped during the pandemic. During those early, dark days, Walters reached out to ATTLAS and sparked a conversation about music and ideas they were into at the time. This digital bridge across the pond led to conversations about life and their shared passions for ambient music and meditation. Yet it also birthed a creative connection between them, with the result eventually becoming their collaborative project Sun Lo.
While there was an ocean’s worth of distance between these two artists, they hit a stride in their respective studios by sending ideas back and forth, tweaking tracks to their liking. In fact, there wasn’t much discussion about the music itself when they hopped on phone calls. Instead, they grew their bond with each other. “When you find the middle of that Venn diagram as humans, that’s where the music starts to make a lot more sense,” ATTLAS said in our chat with him. “A lot of vulnerability and tenderness, but aiming towards a great project at the end.”
Writing with “no expectations” is what allowed ATTLAS and Richard Walters to flourish as they created music under the Sun Lo alias – there were no deadlines to complete tracks and no labels hovering over their work. It was pure, unadulterated creativity in the face of uncertainty. And within the span of those two years, they crafted Shapes In My Head, a polished, ten-track album that is emotion-fueled electronica at its finest.
Shapes In My Head isn’t a dance-forward album. Sure, you can sway your body to it and shuffle your feet while listening to some of its more energetic tracks, but it shines brightest as a story-driven collection of tunes you can bask in. It’s cinematic, highly emotional, and shows off the innate artistry that ATTLAS and Richard Walters possess. Each track acts as a chapter in this story of isolation, whether within the confines of the physical world or in one’s own mind. While this can be seen as apt, considering the state of the world when it was created, the internal conversations the lyrics present will hold true for anyone who grapples with those feelings for years to come.
Four singles from Sun Lo surfaced prior to the release of their debut album – “Factory Gates,” “Nothing Permanent,” “Heights,” and “Never Learned” – with each showing off how captivating this project would be. These tracks offered everything from pensive piano-fueled moments to those filled with synth-driven energy, all of which were filled seamlessly with stunning vocals from Walters, who guides listeners to a different state of mind.
Beyond those tracks, six new ones grace the tracklist for Shapes In My Head, and there are some gems that have been unearthed with the album’s release. The second tune, “Rise,” features a stripped-back atmosphere, allowing the piano notes and vocals to take center stage as the album lurches into “Never Learned.” This one has an uplifting nature as Walters sings about helping the one they love and showing them the light. Love is the thematic element that carries through much of the album, from “Constant,” which crescendos with energy, to “I Still See You,” which has a more chilled ambiance. Others, like “Lately,” are more introspective in nature, with that tune offering relatable lyrics centered on the notion of questioning the direction of one’s life.
The title track acts as a proper bookend to Shapes In My Head as Walters sings of seeing shapes in his head while lying in bed, further defining the notion of isolation as the final seconds tick away. Whether you see this story from Sun Lo as one about being stuck inside during the pandemic or in your own head, this body of work is sure to stir emotions deep inside your soul and leave a lasting impression.
Stream Sun Lo – Shapes In My Head on Spotify:
Sun Lo – Shapes In My Head – Tracklist:
- Factory Gates
- Never Learned
- Nothing Permanent
- Some Part Of Me
- I Still See You
- Shapes In My Head