I wanted to hear the story back from the band to fact check. Here's a little something everyone sent me while I was writing this:
Josh - Guitar
The framework for the song that would ultimately become "Born for the Sun" was put together following a conversation I had with Cisco.
I expressed an interest in trying to bridge the gap between my writing style and our vision for Grawlix’s sound. We discussed what the vision would be for our next set of songs and had settled on a more dream pop style of writing- drawing influences from some 90's artists. Cisco specifically referenced The Pillows.
Writing "Born for the Sun" was the first song I wrote with a vision and sound in mind. I wanted to write a song that was reminiscent of that dreamy/90's style while still putting my own spin on it. What came out set the stage for writing our up-and-coming album.
Rob - Bass/Vox
It is amazing how one small idea can evolve into the essence of an entire project.
I remember it was the summer of 2014. I was sitting with Kelsey and Josh and we were demonstrating new song ideas to each other. When it was his turn, Josh played us the "Born for the Sun" riff/melody on his guitar. It reminded me of the music that played on the radio and on television when I was a kid. Kelsey felt the same and started calling the song “That’s So 90’s!”.
When we started working on the music for the song later that year, we gave it the working title of “Nostalgia." We knew that this new song of ours was quite different musically and lyrically from some of our earliest work. Naturally, we earmarked the song for the then-still mostly unwritten Betwixt and Between album.
As we work-shopped the song, every band member contributed ideas. For my part in the song’s creation, in addition to writing the bass line, I created the harmonies for the choruses. These parts evolved and changed into their final form as Kelsey, Cisco, and I did vocal-only practices as a trio.
When we finally got around to recording the album, nearly 3 years had passed since “Born for the Sun” was written. However, that same nostalgic feel and enthusiasm still shines through on the song you hear today. I am extremely proud of the finished song.
Kelsey - Keys/Vox
When Josh first shared the main guitar riff that would become "Born for the Sun", a certain nostalgic feeling immediately set in. The walk-down from the end of the pre-chorus into the chorus especially had a sort of 90's-esque ring to it to me. While writing, we called the song “That’s so 90's” and “Nostalgia”. The music always brought visions of running around outside on sunny, summer days as children. That feeling of longing for those carefree days led to a theme of defiance present in the lyrics.
Not wanting to detract from the guitar riff, I decided to write shimmery synth sounds to create a sort of whimsical feeling throughout the song. And then once we had the lyrics finished, I began putting together the vocal melody with the help of the band.
For a long time, the pre-chorus vocals were completely different than what you hear in the final cut. It wasn’t until we had been playing the song out and already had the vocals tracked that I finally voiced my discontent with that part of the song. The part as it was never sat right with me, but it had become so ingrained that I struggled to replace it with anything else. It always felt underwhelming and a bit awkward for me as a vocalist. I asked Cisco and Rob to sit down with me and fix this part. Many different variations were thrown out, but the pre-chorus vocal melody as it is now was an idea from Rob. It’s a vocal challenge in all the best ways and I could not be happier that I had the opportunity to go back and add this part into the song.
Mario - Percussion
While I didn’t have the privilege of helping to write "Born for the Sun", I am lucky to have the pleasure of performing this song in tandem with the other Grawlix players at every show. As an objective listener and player, I think "Born for the Sun" is a really solid tune. It’s got a little something for everyone; beautiful and well-executed lyricism, powerful harmonies, stellar instrumentation, and a hook that makes you want to sing and dance along. While the band pulls out all the stops to makes this tune slam, Kelsey is the real show-stopper. She hits some difficult notes that you just can’t get out of any run-of-the-mill, dime-a-dozen singer; all the while keeping her fingers hot on the keyboard to complete that full signature sound you can expect from such a talented group. I’m so excited for this song’s release and I’m proud of my band mates for putting it all together.