Leeds singer/songwriter Sunday Lendis spreads her wings and soars through a dreamy, beautiful jazz-folk landscape on her radiant, intimate, and wondrous debut EP, ‘Long Exposure.’
Stream: ‘Long Exposure’ – Sunday Lendis
I really think everything’s out on the table with it… I think it’s a beautiful time stamp of my life over the last two years that I’ll treasure forever.
Leeds singer/songwriter Sunday Lendis made a “gorgeous, graceful, and glistening” introduction late last year with her debut single, and she’s done it again this spring with her debut EP. Radiant and wondrous, smoldering and stirring, Long Exposure aches with intimacy and glows with an inner light as Lendis spreads her wings and soars through a dreamy, beautiful jazz-folk soundscape.
What I want just a little bit,
Is to find my way in this massive world,
To be the person I was sold.
I can see right in front of me,
Clearly there’s more that I can be,
More to hear than I’ve been told.
Take me outside, I can’t decide
Where the ground beneath me lies.
Show me how, and take me back,
To the place I knew myself.
– “With Ease,” Sunday Lendis
Independently released April 6, 2023, Long Exposure is powerfully emotive, softly stunning musical experience – not to mention an impactful best-foot-forward for Sunday Lendis, whose first few songs have enchanted our ears and soothed our minds over recent months.
Born and raised in Australia and based in Leeds, UK for over a decade, Lendis debuted late last year with November’s “Breathe Again,” a gorgeous, graceful, and glistening introduction glowing with the warm, nurturing light of spring. “‘Breathe Again’ captures life’s beauty,” Atwood Magazine wrote shortly after its release. “Lush guitars and keys coalesce through sweetly stirring patterns to create a vivid, delicately textured background that, together with Lendis’ soothing vocal performance, evokes the magic of the season.”
Lendis inspired a sense of wonder and rediscovery, rebirth and renewal in “Breathe Again,” and she continues to dazzle with the same awe-inspiring talent on her debut EP, which she worked on together with her longtime collaborator and friend, guitarist and producer Ed Allen.
For Lendis, Long Exposure is a long time coming.
“I graduated music college in 2020 into a music industry that didn’t really exist, and it really knocked me for six,” she tells Atwood Magazine. “I had been working towards a final recital for 3 years that was 75% of my degree with what I thought would be my solo project, and that turned into a vlog in lockdown.”
“It was devastating and I felt completely lost and like everything I had been working towards was pulled from beneath me. At the time I was struggling to write anything alone so I realised I needed to do it with another human, and that person was Ed. He was incredible with me, and very patient! We loved working together and gradually as the songs started coming together we realised we’d like the project to be collaborative and that’s where it all started.”
“At the time I really thought the pandemic had taken something from me, but now I see it as a gift – it gave me time, time to develop and figure myself out, time to get off the very fast-moving conveyer belt of music that comes out of conservatories, and time to find my artistry. I am grateful for that.”
For Lendis, this EP is meant to serve as a definitive introduction to who she is as an artist, as a vocalist, and as a creative in the music world. She accomplished this not only by marrying the types of music she’s long gravitated towards – folk, electronic, and jazz – but also by staying true to herself, her world, and her experiences.
“I just wanted to tell my story and try and figure myself out as an artist, to be honest – and I feel I really achieved that,” she explains. “During the whole process I was very open to anything that might come up and any change in course that might arise. This EP is fairly chronological and studies some big moments in my life story, but it also shows the moments in-between the big ones – it is so many feelings, moments and people all at once (never just one picture) and I felt that the phrase “Long Exposure” really encapsulated that!”
“I’m so proud of this record, and I really think everything’s out on the table with it,” she adds. “It’s me. At the minute this is the only capture of my artistry, so it’s kind of everything at the moment – I think it’s a beautiful time stamp of my life over the last two years that I’ll treasure forever.”
Long Exposure opens with Lendis’ sophomore single “With Ease,” a poetic, electronic jazz-folk affair rife with mesmerizing musical light and seductive existential dread. “What I want just a little bit, is to find my way in this massive world, to be the person I was sold,” Lendis sings over a hushed bed of vocal “ahs,” immediately pouring her heart out in a visceral expression of inner longing and self-actualization. “I can see right in front of me, clearly there’s more that I can be – more to hear than I’ve been told.” As the track progresses, its stunning arrangement and Lendis’ vivid vocal performance prove instantly memorable and utterly inspiring.
“This song is about everything but ease,” Lendis laughs. “I hadn’t given myself the time or patience to figure out who I was; during the final year of my degree, COVID hit and I felt like I was left with nothing. This song explores those feelings of drifting, feeling lost and unsure of yourself especially during such difficult times.”
“With Ease” is uncompromising, untethered, and unapologetic: Lendis holds nothing back as she delves deep into herself, looking for the treasure she knows lies within. This is soul-searching at its finest, and it’s just the start: Lendis further comes into her own on the soul-stirring love song “Deepest Blue” and the emotionally charged “Bricks and Mortar,” the latter of which is a personal favorite of hers as well.
“I love them all, but my favourite tune on the EP is ‘Bricks and Mortar’ – I remember recording the drums on the outro and asking [drummer] Theo to completely descend into stormy chaos, and it was one of my favourite moments in the studio. It was so exciting! Ecstasy.”
If I was ever there,
I’ve shown you what’s beneath.
A love that runs so deep.
What can I say
To someone grieving me?
Walls they crumble around me
Sometimes falling down
As I stumble under and over,
But never where I am,
Another undeniable highlight is the EP’s finale “Alice,” a tender, unadulterated folk track whose acoustic guitar and violin arrangement fosters a space filled with “love and life” (as Lendis sings in one of the verses), hope and possibility.
There’s a girl that I know,
and she’s brimming with hope
Reading books and helping her Nanna cook.
This she’ll carry through life,
as a way of finding home,
Take a place and make it her own.
What to do when the family you thought would be yours,
Leaves a child with the keys to the front door?
Just a little girl trying her best
to make sense of a grown up’s world.
Hold me, someone please hold me.
Tell me, someone tell me you love me, please.
There’s an innocence to this song; Lendis’ songwriting stands out here as she comes into her own on this moving finale. “I really like this track – it’s not like the rest of the EP, but I think it’s a lovely place to end,” she remarks. “Drawing more on the folk elements of my music, this is just voice, guitar and some violin for the majority. The band comes in at the end of the song and offers a big, warm hug – reassuring the listener that everything will be okay.”
As for her own lyrical highlights, Lendis cites a verse from her debut single, “Breathe Again”: “Rain so fertile it must care ferociously, skies that open seem so violent, but leave so much green.” “I also just love the lines that are very specifically about people and moments in my life, and I love knowing that’s just for me,” she smiles.
Sunday Lendis has emerged as a singular voice who never ceases to dazzle, enchant, and amaze those who take the time to listen to her art.
Her debut EP is a dreamy, intimate, and unfiltered outpouring of raw self-expression – one that captures life’s highs and lows together in an ultimately cathartic, uplifting, energizing, and inspiring package.
As we wrote earlier this very year, “lend an ear and surrender to Sunday Lendis’ beautiful, ethereal, cathartic cacophony.” Soft, sweet, and soul-stirring, Long Exposure is the kind of record that keeps on giving: A source of golden-hued warmth, wonder, and inspiration.
“I really hope that people can thread these words into their own stories and imprint their own lives onto the record,” Lendis shares. “That’s kind of all I hope for, that people relate to it and connect with it in some way. I hope it brings people joy, reassurance or comfort.”
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Sunday Lendis’ Long Exposure EP with Atwood Magazine as she goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her beautifully breathtaking debut EP!
Stream: ‘Long Exposure’ – Sunday Lendis
:: Inside Long Exposure ::
This was the first song Ed and I wrote together. At the time I was so lost and struggling to create and this song really helped me work through those feelings – as you can hear in the bridge I started trying to frame adversity as a strength and stopped fighting it so much.
The first love song I’ve ever written – it was very important to me as a woman not to portray the idea that I am nothing without the person I love – that old Hollywood archetype. The lyrics in this song all embodied that for example lets take the chorus: instead of “you are my oxygen” for example I wanted to say “the leaves that let me breathe”, instead of “you are my wildest dreams” I wanted to say “the place where all my dreams go to” so everything had a more indirect feeling of symbiosis. Although I used this song to challenge the slightly oppressive side of this classic love songs, I wanted to invoke a really beautiful, passionate sound in a nod to all of the old crooner songs – so it’s filled with lush, romantic strings and big, amorous moments.
Bricks and Mortar
This is the darkest track on the EP written at a really difficult time in my life. We really wanted to use the production and playing to represent and show the dissonance that this song discusses – you can hear this really shine at the end of the song when the drums veer off on their own, away from the other instrumentation.
This song is the embodiment of spring. I felt like I had been wading through such hard times for so long and all of a sudden I could see the work paying off, as if tiny daffodils or tulips had been growing under ground all winter and then decided to show their faces.
I really like this track – it’s not like the rest of the EP but I think it’s a lovely place to end. Drawing more on the folk elements of my music, this is just voice, guitar and some violin for the majority. The band comes in at the end of the song and offers a big, warm hug – reassuring the listener that everything will be okay.
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© Maria Alzamora
:: Stream Sunday Lendis ::