Melbourne artist Sugar Jacket, AKA William van der Vliet, has today dropped his debut single, ‘How Many Times’. The single is an emotionally charged track that brings together psychedelic sounds, lyrical themes of disconnecting friendships and an incredible in-studio energy.
“This track is about walking away from a friendship with the intentions of potentially returning to it in due time. Assuming some raw wounds will heal but anger is fresh. I’m angry in this track lyrically,” Sugar Jacket explains.
“When we were recording this track, we had a lot of Len – ‘Steal My Sunshine’ in our heads. Cruising straight beats with heavy synths and percussion that are trying to evoke an aggression and sexiness.”
Working with Alex Markwell, Sugar Jacket recorded ‘How Many Times’ in an old converted Northcote studio in August of 2017. Joining them in the studio was Sugar Jacket’s brother, Thomas, who he describes as easily one of the biggest influencers of his sound. “It’s high energy this song. We were dancing and yelling at each other. Well my brother was yelling.
Markwell was quietly weaving all our ideas through the production as the mayhem pulsated in one huge day of recording,” Sugar Jacket says.
Sugar Jacket has evolved from William van der Vliet’s passion for musical exploration and immersion, building on from early projects which saw him support the likes of The Cherry Dolls and Backyard. The resulting sound is something sparse yet lush, drawing upon dream-pop sensibilities and psychedelic synths to capture emotion and tell a story.
His progression as an artist began conventionally, by discovering of his parents’ record collection and dancing around the living room delighting in discovering his father’s suggestions of the likes of The Stones and Hendrix.
At 14, Sugar Jacket, found his love for synth equipment. He recalls getting his hands on his first synths, describing it at the most pivotal moment in his musical and teenage life.
“When I played around on those synths for the first time down in the rumpus room at home, I knew that’s all I ever wanted to do. I loved how they could sound classic or completely new age.” Now, Sugar Jacket crafts his inspirations into beats and song structures from a veritable treasure trove of vintage keyboards, synthesizers and sequencers as he mines a rich vein of music history.
Having worked closely with his brother Thomas, one of his most significant influences, as well as producer Alex Markwell (The Delta Riggs), Sugar Jacket has a strong appreciation for the behind-thescenes elements of the music industry and aims to bring this to light in the teams he chooses to work with.
“It’s the incredibly talented producers and music people that I highly respect like Alex Markwell (The DeltaRiggs), Alex O’Gorman (Big Smoke, Angie McMahon) and Chris Wright (Sunset Pig Records) who together have been able to create music that I’m incredibly proud of”, he says.
Live, Sugar Jacket has managed an impressive one-man show built around his collection of vintage gear, crafting a unique live show of complex triggered samples and drum patterns, live keys and incandescent waves of psychedelic guitar washes. As he gradually expands his live show to a full band, he unashamedly admits “it lowers the chances of gear fucking up”.
Catch Sugar Jacket live in celebration of his debut single ‘How Many Times’ this November.
SINGLE LAUNCH SHOW
Friday 16th November – The Grace Darling Hotel – Collingwood, VIC
‘HOW MANY TIMES’ OUT NOW