If you, like me, are gearing up for more of a “sad girl summer”…I have the anthem for you.
An ode to falling in love with a friend, Sug Daniels’ song, “Heavy,” is a bittersweet expression of possibly unrequited feelings. Daniels, whose real name is Danielle Johnson, is based in Wilmington, Delaware; a member of a few bands, including Hoochi Coochi, this is the young artist’s first venture as Sug Daniels.
On June 1st, Daniels’ debut single was released. Written and produced by Daniels herself, the solo piece is different from her work with Hoochi Coochi, taking on a sound of its own in the realm of bedroom pop. Contrasting the band’s rock influenced projects, the song highlights her pure vocals and ukulele chops. The soft piece is the perfect kickstart to Daniels’ solo career, displaying all of her strong suits in both production and performance.
“Heavy” is an intimate ukulele ballad, featuring Daniels’ sweet soprano voice. The combination is endearing, and draws you in immediately. The music is delicate, even using the higher register of the bass – further establishing the talent and knowledge Daniels has for her art. The way she utilizes the higher range of the bass, and all ranges of her voice, complement the ukulele chords and strum patterns masterfully. Clean production polishes off the song, making this (literal) bedroom-pop piece a professionally-executed piece of art.
Lyrically, “Heavy” is a Gen-Z work of poetry, using phrases like “shoot my shot” and “heavy on my mind,” taking the relatability of the subject matter to another level. For younger audiences, the song perfectly encompasses falling for a friend; the final verse of the song, which references a rejection, seals the feeling. Taking the listener from a crush, to believing in a “cosmic connection,” to rejection creates an experience that is told through Daniels’ lens, but can be translated to any pursued crush.
For “Heavy,” Daniels released a music video, which was self-recorded and done at home. The video perfectly illustrates the back and forth emotions of falling for someone, as Daniels tries on different outfits, plays the song a hundred times over, and checks her phone repeatedly. She takes an all too familiar feeling and experience and turns it into a creative expression through the story. Daniels’ artistic talent manifests in multiple mediums as established in the video, making her an up-and-comer to look out for.
Sug Daniels’ debut EP is set to release September 3rd, under Weird Sister Records, a label Daniels recently signed with. “Heavy” is the lead single, promising a great set of songs. Until then, Daniels is playing gigs in and around Wilmington, both as a solo artist and with Hoochi Coochi.