Sure Sure Talks Inspiration Behind New Album, “What’s It Like?”

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This foursome released their sophomore album What’s It Like and immediately filled the music scene with the retro/hip void. Bouncy piano chords, falsetto verses, and cheeky lyrics hoist Sure Sure to the top of my summer playlist. Each track feels vintage and yet timeless at the same time. I’ll enjoy this album at 25 and 50 with no concept of when the songs were actually released – that’s the beauty of music, right?

After listening to the album on repeat for several days, I knew I had to talk to these guys and get their insights on the album. I saw they posted their phone number on their social media accounts, I thought “well I might as well send a text and see if they answer.” THEY DID. I sent some questions over about this superb album and they answered that day. Everything about Sure Sure is fun and just plain honest.

How would you describe this new album “What’s It Like?”

What’s It Like is like time traveling back to the 90s, when you were growing up, except you go back in your current adult form; there’s a pool party, and everyone is invited. The party starts in the afternoon, and it’s hot, but it goes late, and the mood softens when the sun goes down and the fireflies come out. At one point, once most of your friends have gone home, and it’s just the core crew sprawled out in the grass, you get a little sad. You reflect on what you’ve lost and how you have changed (or not). And then it’s time to sleep. You wake up and it’s 2019 again and it’s time to get to work.”

I hear a lot of retro sounds and musical compositions on this album. Who are you inspired by while creating this music?

“We made this record over a period of about a year, so we were listening to so many different artists during that time. Prince was a big influence on the title track; Lou Reed inspired the vibe for ‘Might Might Not,’ D’Angelo was big for ‘Sedona,’ and we wrote ‘Good Thing’ in the Elton John//Frank Ocean tradition, i.e. ‘Benny and the Jets’ and ‘Super Rich Kids.'”

What song are you most excited to perform off the new album and why?

“I think we’re most excited to perform ‘Good Thing.’ We’re about to make a live video for it this week. We’ve only played it at a couple shows so far, but you can feel the whole crowd bumping to the slow groove, and it feels great.”

What are the main themes of this album and why were they important to you?

“Probably the biggest theme on the record is love and relationships—’What’s It Like?’ is about how easily you can fall in love with a stranger, ‘Warm Animal’ explores the exhilarating feeling of a new relationship, ‘Out of My Element’ is about feeling too down on yourself to even ask your crush out for ice cream. We also wrote some of the tunes about what it’s like to be in a band (see ‘Good Thing’ and ‘Sedona’). I think we all gained a huge appreciation for being home and relaxing once we started touring. I mean, we love touring, but it’s kinda like when you move away from the place you grew up, and you realize how much you loved that place… That’s what ‘Sedona’ is about. For ‘Good Thing’ we took some of our own experiences, like when Kevin was sick for a while in 2015, or when we hit a deer in the Cascade Mountains, and we created a song about the trials and tribulations of a semi-fictional band.”

Giving out a number to fans. Who decided to do that and why? Also, how has it been to have a direct line to fans?

“Well, back in 2017, we realized we were paying for a landline in our cable bill, so Mike and Charlie went to Staples one day and bought a telephone. And that was that. Sometimes people call expecting it to be fake, and when we answer ‘Hi, Sure Sure here,’ they get freaked out and hang up immediately. Lots of times we just have a casual chat with a random fan, maybe they’re studying for finals, or procrastinating studying for finals. One time we got invited to a birthday party in Eagle Rock; turned out to be the birthday party of the prop master for that show Nathan For You. He told us a great story about the chili-dispensing suit he had to build for Nathan on the Chili Man episode. In short, the landline phone has been well worth the $10 per month.”

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