Interview: Cider Sky

Welcome to my first ever blog interview, with the guys from the chill pop sensation Cider Sky! I reached out to the members with a couple questions, and they were awesome enough to chat with me.

The Members

Cider Sky is a cozy two-piece made up of singer-songwriter and beauty extraordinaire Simon Wilcox and co-singer and music man Shridhar Solanki. According to the group's Facebook bio, the two met by a "beautiful accident" in London, England - which is, surprisingly, not the hometown of either member. The pair, obviously destined for a partnership, had a second chance meeting in their hometown of Los Angeles, which marked the official beginning of Cider Sky and a future of beautiful pop music. 

The Music

Upon that fateful second meeting in LA, the newly formed pair produced and recorded their first heartbreakingly gorgeous single, "Northern Lights," a track about beauty and companionship which was featured on the soundtrack of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 in 2011. With their music career starting to take flight, Cider Sky released their first collection of six tracks, titled the King EP, later that year. This collection declared Cider Sky as a sustainable part of the chill pop genre, with softly sung harmonies, airy keyboards and minimalist beats to keep the focus on Wilcox's thoughtfully charming lyrics. Heading into 2012, Wilcox and Solanki went on a single spree, releasing five separate tracks including a Christmas track throughout the year. 
However, as is common with many groups of various genres, Cider Sky could not be content with just one sound. After a brief one-year hiatus, the duo returned with "Flames," a track with a sound still deeply rooted in the group's original feel, but beefed up into more of a beach-pop groove with a catchy chorus and a heavier keyboard. A "Flames" remix album was released later in 2014, featuring club and trance mixes by Zak Moya, Habischman, and in.deed. Cider Sky, in only a few short years, had mastered the art of imagining and re-imagining their sound flawlessly in a way to bring in new listeners without losing the attention of original fans.
After another pause in 2015, Cider Sky returned once again with four independent tracks that now held qualities of tropical pop - stronger leads, a new synth background and more drums than all of the King EP. Again, these tweaks to sound never completely lost the original "Northern Lights"-esque vibe - in fact, the 2016 single "Pride" begins extremely similarly, which light xylophone notes and a laid back tempo. Five years made Cider Sky more musically confident, bringing out the two members' best qualities and maintaining the ones they already knew they had. 
2017 has already been blessed by more Cider Sky - in fact, one of the three singles released so far this year has only been streaming since May 8th. "Rush," the duo's most recent single, is the heaviest track yet, beginning with electric guitar feedback before falling into a steady rock beat behind Wilcox's ever-strengthening voice, with Solanki backing her up. It's a little less Halsey and a little more Front Bottoms, but every bit Cider Sky - a quality they still don't intend to lose.
Despite the evolution of their sound, Cider Sky never lost what is arguably their best attribute - lyrics that grab your heart and soul and hold on for dear life, making you feel and imagine all of the world's most magnificent beauty. While guitars may replace keys and whispers may turn to shouts, thus is life; one cannot hope to remain innocent forever, but can be true to oneself their entire life. 

Exclusive Interview!

Aidan: Who are your musical inspirations? 
CS: We find musical inspiration in diverse things - French cinema, modern and classic poetry, afrobeat, samba, New Romanticism and the California Light and Space Movement (to name a few).

Aidan: If you could headline any venue, where would it be? 
CS: The beautiful and historic Massey Hall in Toronto (where Simon used to be an usher)(if possible she would perform that night wearing her old vest, bow tie and name tag). 

Aidan: You can turn into any animal. What animal do you choose? 
CS: Wiggy ([Instagram] @wiggythepuppy), our band mascot. We need to know what’s going on in his dog brain. 

Aidan: What does the future look like for Cider Sky? 
CS: So bright, we gotta wear shades!

The Final Word

The inspiration for the name Cider Sky comes from the moment at twilight when the sun bows out for the day, but still shares its light with the world for a few fleeting moments. Like the sight of dusk, Cider Sky inspires thoughts and memories that could not be dreamed up any other way. Dreamy lyrics about love, strength and hope can inspire listeners to feel the same way. Evolving style is the strength, not the weakness, of this two-piece. Although my personal love affair with "Northern Lights" and the King EP will never fade, the variety of tracks from 2012 to now give everyone something to love. Be sure to check out Cider Sky's Facebook page and Twitter feed for all the latest on new music, tours and more. And as always, head on over to Spotify to listen to all the soft, sweet tunes that Cider Sky has to offer.

Thanks so much again to Cider Sky for answering my silly questions. Let me know if you'd like to see more interviews like this in the comments - and I'm always open to future feature suggestions!



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