SAFIA have never really tried to fit the mould when it comes to music, preferring to take their listeners on a journey through “new worlds” and “crazy ideas”.
It’s that “weird and wonderful” direction that the electronica band have set off on for their newest single Starlight, which will again be on display when they arrive at Wickham Park for This That festival in November.
Ben Woolner, who provides lead vocals for the band, thinks weird and wonderful is the perfect way to describe what the group have been offering up in recent months, as they build towards an album crescendo and get back on the road with their Starlight tour.
“We’ve been playing sporadic shows for the past two years and have kind of been away, so we’re really excited to get back on the road and have a prolonged run,” Woolner said.
“The timing of coming back properly just felt right, we’ve been writing a lot and that was because we had that rest period just over the past 24 months, after our last album we had that stop on the tour and now we want to share all this music that we’ve made.
“We’re really focused on moving the ship again, and this will all go into an album – not all the singles that we’ve released – but overall that is the plan. There’s still a lot to do but we have a lot planned out.”
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One of SAFIA’s plans comes in the form of an interesting new direction for the band – Woolner revealed the album and their music was focused on building “a new world” for their fans, with the group trying to follow that strand as they created new tracks and now bring it to live performances.
“We were really loving that retro-futurism vibe that was coming out of everything that we were doing, and with all the new music that’s come together to have something the audience can get immersed in,” Woolner said.
“There was a lot of focus on getting lost in the world of the music, and giving this pathway to escapism. It’s a weird and wonderful track that we followed, but we wanted to offer that cool new angle on the music. We all just wanted to take the listener to a new and different place.”
Different has clearly already been the plan as SAFIA now move into touring mode, with the release of Starlight coming alongside an alternate reality art piece that can only be viewed through the EyeJack mobile app.
Weird, wonderful and new – the messages of the band now – are all wrapped into the groundbreaking way to release single artwork, and Woolner said he hopes the added dimension to the release can excite fans the way it really excited the group.
“It’s just so whacky and cool, as soon as we heard about what Sutu and EyeJack were doing we wanted to get involved,” he said. “We aim to bring our music to the edge of uncomfortableness, and I think the artwork paired so well with that that we couldn’t pass it up. It’s all that retro-future vibe that we love.”
SAFIA will play at This That festival at Wickham Park on November 3.