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Sion – Sociavoidance – Track-by-Track

Artist and multi-instrumentalist Sion is back with his impressive third extended play, Sociavoidance.

Over the last four years, the German-born and South Korea-based artist, Sion, has been steadily making a name for himself in the music industry. The Voice Germany Season 10 semifinalist is a self-taught singer, songwriter, producer, who can do it all. Sion can play guitar, piano, synthesiser, DJ, and much more, just name it. Early inspirations for Sion include Frank ocean and Porter Robinson, and his music so far has been a wonderful mix of eclectic soundscapes.

Now, Sion is back with his best project yet, his third EP Sociavoidance. The five-track extended play is full of lush vocals, vibrant production, a multitude of different layered textures. The genre-defying artist blends elements of indie electronica, hip-hop, alt R&B, glitch pop, and more. Thematically, the body of work explores disassociation in the age of the internet, vulnerabilities, social interaction, self-reflection and relationships. It’s a heartfelt, genuinely beautiful, experience. Sion’s inviting the listener into his colourful, exciting, and often unpredictable world on Sociavoidance.

To celebrate the release of Sociavoidance, Sion chats to 1883 Magazine and provides a track-by-track breakdown of the new EP revealing the hidden stories behind the music.

“Sociavoidence”

This track is the intro track of the EP, I intended for it to set the mood and present the listener with the overall soundscape. I primarily used granular synthesis and sampling techniques to create natural yet enchanting indie electronica textures. In the music production community, there is an emerging genre called ‘botanica,’ which I used as my main reference point for this track.

Thematically, it addresses the reason I made this album: the suicide of a friend due to social pressure and anxiety. I depict this through a recorded conversation with one of my best friends and most talented fashion artists, Darlene Park.

“Avoid”

It’s an extension of the intro track sonically. It still carries the electronic-natural textures but in a more subtle way. I explicitly tried to avoid overdoing it production-wise. The main drum break is a snappy rimshot break that underlines the whole track in a somewhat minimal manner.

Most of the time, the instruments are more prominent than the drums, which was usually the other way around in my previous EPs. Thematically, this track talks about the fear that has grown inside of me after the suicidal incident. I felt anxiety and fear in communicating with other people, wishing that people would just mind their own business.

“Expired”

This track turned out more colorful than I initially planned, but I like how it turned out. I took inspiration from more vibrant pop subgenres such as hyperpop and glitchpop, but I think I made it a bit more accessible for the masses. Some people might feel like this track, and the overall feeling of the album seems a little otaku-ish.

This is probably because I have been listening to a lot of Japanese EDM and digicore music lately. This track talks about past friendships that became toxic once I started reaching a bigger audience. My friends demanded more time from me even though I was already exhausted from trying to keep myself together. Lately, I’ve learned that some relationships are just not meant to be, and sometimes you have to accept the nature of them diverging into different paths.

“Karoshi”
Probably the most important track message-wise because it directly addresses the theme of suicide and pressure in society while subtly building emotional tension through the memories of my deceased friend. I feel like my life as an artist in Korea doesn’t differ much from the life of regular workers. I’m still subjected to the same pressures and cycles that have exhausted me lately.

I thought the best way to depict this dark and busy emotion was to blend two completely different soundscapes and genres together. I chose abstract hip-hop and downtempo with a hint of Asian world music. The track constantly switches between these two dimensions, and I wanted to make the listener feel uncomfortable while listening.

“Incognito”

Thematically, this track is similar to “Avoid” but here I am directly addressing the music industry more than society in general. I became sick of seeing how artists’ past works get exploited by labels and friends. Even though I would never want anyone to release my unfinished demos after my death, it made me sick to see how far people cross the line for money, ignoring the meaning of art and an artist’s right to protect their artistry.

Musically, this one is probably the most difficult. It’s a blend of Asian world music, nu jazz, pop, and indie electronica, and I took inspiration from artists like Sampha, FKA Twigs, and Glass Beach.

“Moon”

This track is kind of weird for me. I was on the verge of discarding it because I couldn’t finish it in time, but ending the EP with a strange piece like “Incognito” didn’t feel right. So, I had to swallow the tough pill of making compromises and finishing this song in a kind of hollow state. However, listening to it within the full EP, it was definitely a necessary track to sum up the emotional journey of the EP.

It ends with the message of exhaustion and constant comparison to other stars and friends in the industry, feeling smaller and smaller. This EP feels more intimate than all of my other work. I don’t want to hide things anymore, and I hope this EP is a good start in a new and more honest direction as an artist for me.

Sion’s new EP Sociavoidance is out now. Follow Sion by clicking here.

Intro Cameron Poole

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