Ears Wide Open: Sonja Midtune

Sonja Midtune (Photo by Philíp Alexander)

Songsmith Sonja Midtune (née Midthun) blossoms in silken hues after shelving sadcore as the basis of her writing.

For her second EP, “Golden Girl,” she partnered with Sean Oakley (Frank Ocean, Georgia, CHAMPS, La Roux) for production and programming to bump the bpm a few notches up while she layered electric and acoustic guitars and synths. With Michael Champion (CHAMPS) and Mikey Wagner (Andrew McMahon) on bass, and mastering by Rupert Stansall, the result is an immersive, technicolor ride through the depths and highs of redemption.

“The recording process was 100% fun 100% of the time,” said the Minnesota native. “Every song had a magical recording moment, which is what I call when you start experimenting with instruments and come up with the perfect sound by accident… I would go home from the studio absolutely buzzin’ and sometimes I was scared we weren’t going to be able to have the same energy while recording the next song, and then we would!”

Upon even a first listen (then a second, then a third), it’s apparent Midtune and co. captured lightning in a bottle, and she’s been pouring the gems of those sessions a little at a time every three weeks.

The latest, “Pink Sunset Hotel,” is a journey through the past, reflecting on how a particular time and space messed with her moods, “A few years ago, an extreme situation got me used to extremes. When things settled down, I missed the highs and lows. I had to put that feeling into a song to get it out of me.”

Midtune conveys grasping for understanding in her lyrics, “Untangling years of design / Glowing in the dark / Goin’ too far / I’m drinkin like a criminal…” while saving the heroics for the beaming chorus, “Last night at the Pink Sunset Hotel / My mind untwisted everything I’m missin’ / I felt something that I’ve never felt before / It went right through me / Like you…”

“Golden Girl” (the EP) is out in full on Nov. 11, and Midtune celebrates the release on Nov. 10 at the Goldfish with Cassandra Violet, Fiona Grey and Annie Hamilton.

||| Stream: “Pink Sunset Hotel” and “Growing Up”

||| Also: Watch the video for “Golden Girl”

||| Live: Sonja Midtune will play the Goldfish on Nov. 10 with Cassandra Violet, Fiona Grey and Annie Hamilton (tickets) and the Hotel Café’s Mainstage on Nov. 22 (tickets).