Premiere: Sunstoney Glistens In Indie Pop Affirmations On New EP, The Mirror Is Calling

 In News

Questioning one’s identity is so prevalent in our lives because it comes with so many qualifiers. Who are we under stress? How do we navigate a world stripped of distractions? How do we balance the person we become in our highs and our lows? Finding the core of yourself… it’s not easy, even with a concerted effort to push everything inside and peer deep inside. Focus on the reflection and see just exactly who is staring back.

Lost in this shuffle though is the inherent worth we all carry. These constant critiques and probing, all they inevitably do is highlight the glaring faults so we can try to fix and erase them, forgetting that for some, these faults are not bugs but features of a glorious design. We need not hyper-fixate on these components, instead looking past them and recognizing how they intertwine with our other qualities to shape a unique individual capable of radiance despite all the stifling shadows looming around.

In The Mirror Is Calling, the sensational new EP from indie pop luminary Sunstoney, nurturing this inherent value takes center stage. With each track, Sunstoney reminds us that our worth only appreciates with each passing moment, with no limit to its growth. This record brims with profound insights and unguarded honesty, set against a backdrop of buoyant melodies that her enchanting voice drifts over sweetly. The five songs together make not just an exploration of self-discovery, but a celebration of the essence that lies at the heart of every journey, one emboldened by remarkable musical vision. Scheduled for release on Friday, April 26th, this revelatory album showcases Sunstoney in a new artistic light, offering a clarity and definition that transcends expectations. Today, The Auricular proudly premieres the album with an exclusive stream below, accompanied by insights into its deeply motivating themes.


Elegant yet modest, The Mirror Is Calling provides a rewarding sound that’s rich in construction and comforting in intention. Sunstoney, real name Eman El Saied, crafts moving parables of triumphs and tribulations that swirl together in a simmering cauldron of intricate pop music, one seasoned with indie curiosity and R&B convention. Sunstoney serves as the driving force behind the project, assuming roles as principal songwriter, producer, and performer, while producer and multi-instrumentalist Jayk Cherry assists in the background, filling in the vibrant soundscapes with additional definition and contrast. Yet, at the heart of the endeavor lies the artistry of Sunstoney, a seasoned presence in the Richmond music scene, whose innate musical prowess is augmented by emotional depth, inspirational guidance, and sonic affirmation on this latest record.

Her voice possesses a gentle strength, cascading over the saturated grooves and shimmering tones with captivating finesse, baring the vulnerable essence of her music. Those grooves unfurl like inviting pathways into her melodic counsel, with tones oscillating between warm flushes and shining strikes, perfectly encapsulating the mood of each song. While the melodies maintain their robustness, they remain firmly anchored to her commanding vocal presence, a trait that has consistently defined her music since “Astral Plane” in 2021. However, this time, the gravity of her voice feels more profound, bearing the weight of the album with remarkable delight.

Lyrically, the EP tackles vital self-discovery, emphasizing the importance of recognizing one’s own worth through the joys and pains of life. The opening tracks focus on the imperative of self-preservation, with the title track advocating for inner balance amidst turmoil (“Wake up/ And smell the flowers/ You’re never in the present moment/ I know/ That it feels like a blur”), and “What’s It All For?” offering solace to those ensnared in the ceaseless cycle of capitalist pursuits, adrift in the grind without a clear purpose (“Oooh, that 9-5 hatred\ You say what its all for\ Then just paying rent\ I be like, ‘baby just hit this’\ ‘Just hit this'”). The subsequent two tracks navigate the intricate terrain of love, probing its ecstasy and torment. “Coming Down (From Your Love)” illustrates how love’s enchantment can illuminate one’s true value (“Coming down from your love\ It all around me\ I miss the high and the lows\ You remind me that you’re worth it”), while “Stoned In The Parking Lot” portrays the consuming fixation of unreciprocated affection (“I can’t have you\ Why won’t you come my way\ I’ve been here the whole time\ Watching sand from hourglass”). The closing track, “Iridescent,” intertwines these themes together, spotlighting the inherent worth of each individual and the unique radiance they bring to the world (“Seeking your attention\ Lemme gain your affection\ I’m lost in your orbit\ You are iridescent”). Getting to this moment through the winding path of distraction, monotony, rapture, and anguish is all worthwhile in the end with this inspiring message elevating the whole narrative. Navigating through the winding path of distraction, monotony, rapture, and anguish leads to this pivotal track, where an uplifting message elevates the entire narrative, making the journey not just worthwhile in the end, but transformative.

That transformation can be felt when comparing this new set of songs with Sunstoney’s previous work, the 2023 album 2079. More arcane and hazy, 2079 related a more veiled personal expression that blended into the sublime mix. On The Mirror Is Calling, the expression finds new footing within the mix, directing the sounds and rhythms around instead of coalescing. The result is a record that complements 2079, letting the narrative power outshine the musical force in a way that speaks to the sense of worth in the verses, not losing your voice when surrounded by all of the textured layers. What’s particularly striking is how closely intertwined the two albums sound despite their divergent approaches. In a curated mix, “Pool” from 2079 could seamlessly transition into “What’s It All For?”, while both “Iridescent” and “Free” serve as prudent choices for an exhilarating conclusion. However, each album stands tall on its own, distinct in conception, intention, and execution, showcasing the versatility of Sunstoney’s artistry. Her work not only demonstrates a mastery of layered composition but also a keen understanding of lyrical impact and agency, which is illuminated with brilliance on this new record.

Remarkable in vision and resonance, The Mirror Is Calling showcases not just the best of Sunstoney, but the best of us all that is always present no matter what surrounds, clouds, or stains us.

The Mirror Is Calling is set for release on Friday, April 26th to all streaming platforms. To keep up to date on Sunstoney’s future releases, concerts, and news, make sure to follow her on social media by clicking here.


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