I previewed the dark and delightful Eliot Sumner in a SXSW StubHub playlist, but they are really worthy of their own entry.
I’ll repeat the most important details: Sumner is the talented offspring of Sting (you know, from The Police?) and actress/producer Trudie Styler. The genderless singer-songwriter was scooped up by Island Records and signed a multi-record deal when they were a young 17 years old. They’ve worked with Fyfe Dangerfield, Miike Snow, and The Libertines’ Pete Doherty. Sumner has also toured with the likes of Lykke Li and On An On. Their second album, Information, dropped in January.
During SXSW, Sumner kicked off StubHub’s brilliant Friday showcase. After the electricity fizzled out of the air, Sumner and their band took the stage at Bangers’ and treated attendees to a brooding and beautiful set. The talented artist's androgynous voice caught many people by surprise. One wise SX-er chirped, “She sounds a lot like Sting.”
And they do. Sumner’s sound, while wildly different from anything comparable to “Desert Rose,” was definitely programmed during birth. It’s a compliment, I promise. Their music is intriguing, memorable, and haunting.
While I’m happily exploring their entire music catalog, I do recommend starting with “Firewood” or “After Dark.” Both tracks will swiftly bore their way into your heart. You won't soon want them gone.