Sulene releases ' whiskey.weed.sex.candy.'
Words by Shauna Hilferty
“About a year ago I was at a girl’s night with my ladies (the only one not drinking as I was on a 9-month hiatus from alcohol and drugs) when one of my friends remarked that a day never feels complete until she’s had whiskey, weed, sex, or candy. The phrase caught my attention so I wrote it down in my phone. Months later I made a beat that felt like something out of a Cyber Punk animé, and I started chanting those words over it almost in a joking way. What started as a quirky song with a sorta funny hook idea, turned into something much deeper when I reflected on how sad the hook actually made me feel.”
Sulene on “whiskey.weed.sex.candy.”
We’re all invited to the most epic gothic disco party, curtosey of Sulene and her newest single “whiskey.weed.sex.candy.” The alt-pop artist delves into self reflection and actualization - all against reverberating synth and melodies made for dancing. Her video - that debuted today on BillboardPitchforRollingStone.com - aids in the story telling. Pop-outs, slo-mo, and a highly saturated color scheme work together to create both an auditory and visual experience while listening to the song.
At Capacity had the pleasure of asking Sulene about “whiskey.weed.sex.candy.”
Has the pandemic altered your creative process at all, particularly regarding this song?
This song was actually written about a year ago, pre-pandemic, and I was super busy at the time so it was written in little chunks over the course of a few months. Since the pandemic, I’ve gone through lots of emotional ups and downs, especially with inspiration, but I will say that being forced to be at home and take care of my health actually opened up a ton of time to write. So I’ve been creating more than ever. The creative process has become more like… this is my job that I’ll do everyday, as opposed to “when I feel inspired.” If that makes sense. More disciplined.
On the creation of the single, you stated you had “...Many realizations about friendships, performing, and feeling detached, spiraling into sadness and self-medicating, being ashamed but repeating the cycle.” How do you think writing this song helped you break the cycle?
It helped me clearly see the cycle and accept it. It was really emotional to write because it was like I was actually admitting something was wrong. It was even weirder showing the song to my friends when it was done. The cool thing was they responded so well and I think it helped them understand me better… why I don’t show up to bar hangs as often or why I was super focused on getting up early/exercise… all new things in my state of being. I’m really grateful that they are loving me through all these changes.
The video for your single is filled with colorful overlays, trippy effects, and is not short on the slo-mo. Specifically speaking, a certain orange salt lamp makes multiple appearances. What significance does the lamp have [to you]?
Hahaha that footage with the salt lamp and goo was actually filmed inside a fish tank filled with water, created by my friend and videographer Ian Fursa. I gave him a basic outline of what I wanted and gave him free reign to film weird stuff. The footage signifies being “inside my head as alcohol deteriorates my brain.” The red lamp represents my soul. The alcohol slowly dims my light as it invades.
What is your favorite lyric from the single?
“And though I have it all, I come undone.” Even typing that sentence makes me sad. It’s about realizing I suffer from chemical depression. It’s no secret I’ve been on medication for it for about a year, and it’s helped my life so much since. It’s terrible to feel a dark empty hole for so long and not even know why. HEAVYYYY sorry. Some people are just more prone to depression than others, and sometimes it runs in your family.
When you’re not writing music, what do you find yourself doing these days?
I’m addicted to Peloton. So in my spare time I mostly ride the spin bike or lift weights. If I’m not doing that, I’m eating ice cream and watching cartoons.
Tell us 5 songs you’d put alongside “whiskey.weed.sex.candy.” on a playlist.
- “You’re Not The one” -- Sky Ferreira
- “Head Like a Hole” -- Nine Inch Nails
- “Plainsong” -- The Cure
- “forever” -- Charli XCX
- “There Will Be Blood” -- Kim Petras
This single is described as taking inspiration from the “underground dance scene." Can fans expect this sound in your upcoming releases?
(click below to watch Sulene's video for "whiskey.weed.sex.candy.")