Portland, OR-based artist David Swick returns to his DoomFolk StarterKit project with ‘SunFaded,’ a seven song album released on the Autumn Equinox to celebrate the sun as it fades away into fall.
Stream: ‘SunFaded’ – DoomFolk StarterKit
In May of 2020, Atwood Magazine premiered a thoughtful and introspective EP release for David Swick’s project, DoomFolk StarterKit, an exercise in which the Portland, OR artist writes (and sometimes releases) songs within certain time constraints. A year and a half later, on September 22, 2021 – the Autumn Equinox, no less – came a DoomFolk StarterKit instrumental album, SunFaded, Swick’s own memorial to the sun.
Released via Like You Mean It Records, SunFaded boasts seven tracks, each honing in on something special about the sun with titles like “SunDial,” “SunTea,” and “SunSign.” “I got really obsessed with the Autumnal Equinox – the day when the sun fades away for the winter,” says Swick. “So I kind of grabbed on to that, but then I just got silly with it, and tried to think of a lot of sun titles, and made it a celebration of the sun as it passes away into death, into the fall.”
Though Swick’s previous DoomFolk StarterKit releases have all been lyrical, something about an instrumental record made sense for SunFaded. “There are times when you can listen to lyrical music and really relate to it and feel it, and then there are times when an instrumental piece, or a crescendo, like in an Explosions In The Sky record or a Sigur Ros record really relates in a different way; so I wanted to lean into that.”
In the realm of music, Swick has often masterfully leaned into creating within self-imposed confines, and DoomFolk StarterKit is one brilliant example. For SunFaded, he wrote and recorded each track on his phone in an hour, with a couple of friends and fellow artists adding their own embellishments after the fact. With additional percussion from Zach Bodman (The Pressure Kids) and string arrangements from Laura Epling (NeedToBreathe, Avett Brothers), SunFaded glistens, every note exuding a sense of peace in moments of melancholy.
Even though we see less and less of the sun after the Equinox comes to pass, Swick’s songs makes autumn’s arrival feel warm and welcome. “There are so many good things [about autumn],” he says, “that the melancholic feeling just gets wrapped into that, and all of a sudden I’m wearing my favorite sweater and drinking my favorite drink, but I’m feeling melancholy. So at the end of the day, autumn is associated with a positive feeling because of what I’m doing while it’s happening.”
As autumn is upon us, with all its early evenings and long-sleeved glory, there are few better ways to celebrate than by listening to songs that feel like fall. And Swick’s SunFaded is a record that softly shines and ushers us into the season.
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📸 © Savannah Kee
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