Are you ready for a summer bop?
The Sometimes Island has got you covered!
Originating as the solo project of singer and songwriter Matt Blankenship Jr, an active member of the Los Angeles music scene who’s penned hundreds of songs over the course of a decade, The Sometimes Island is now a four-piece band that’s gearing up for big things in the year ahead.
Last week the quartet released “Phantom Limb,” their first official single as a band. A true ear worm, the song explores the importance of setting boundaries in a relationship, reminding listeners that it’s okay to not sacrifice oneself to please a partner that wouldn’t do the same in return.
Musical Notes Global sat down with Blankenship to talk all about the single, the evolution of the band’s new sound, and more. Check out the full interview below.
MNGBlog: The Sometimes Island has changed quite a bit since the last time we saw you! Why did you decide to expand the band?
Matt Blankenship Jr.—The Sometimes Island: Over the last two years I was touring solo across the west coast. It was long, strange trip. Learned that trying to do too much on your own will put you in the hospital. I wanted a full band ever since... but the right people didn’t materialize until recently. Now they’re here, and I hope I never go back.
MNGBlog: How would you say your sound has developed in the two years since you released your Bad People EP?
MB: There’s more energy in it. Bringing other people on stage and into the rehearsal room with you will do that! The synths, the backing tracks and the ghost choir vocals are still there. They’re a fundamental part of my songwriting, and I still handle most of the songwriting. I’m lucky, we have a drummer who plays to a click and operates backing tracks. These days though - so much more of the sound is immediate, happening in real time, in front of your eyes, right now… It’s more organic and better for the environment.
MNGBlog: Your new single "Phantom Limb" is super catchy and the title even more intriguing! Can you talk a little about the inspiration behind the song?
MB: Thanks, I was trying to be as bubblegum as possible. In its initial form, I wrote it for a pop-punk artist 7 years ago, and they rejected it because it was “too electro”. I dug the song back up in 2017 on tour in Seattle, and it went so well I realized I should redo it. It’s inspired by dating people who never say thank you, and yet you’d still cut your arm off to make them feel better for five minutes. Which I do not condone.
MNGBlog: What do you hope fans take away after listening?
MB: That cutting your limbs off to make someone else comfortable for five minutes is rarely a good idea. I also hope it gets stuck in everyone’s head and while two people are mumbling it to themselves on the train, they then realize they’re soulmates. A girl can dream.
MNGBlog: How do you think it shows the world the new you?
MB: Danceability has become a priority for me. I used to write songs for people and their brains, now I write songs for peoples’ asses and feet.
MNGBlog: What do you think listeners need to know about The Sometimes Island?
MB: Our name comes from an island in a lake in Austin, TX. It’s real. When it rains, like it has this year, it disappears completely underwater. When it’s ready, it’ll start existing again. Metaphors, man.
MNGBlog: What's next for the band? Do you have any big plans for the rest of 2019?
MB: The music video for “Phantom Limb” is next. We are releasing another single called “You Stole My Dog” after that. You heard it here first. There’s so much new music coming. The Sometimes Island is touring Texas later this year, and then we’re putting on a Tiki themed Christmas show in Los Angeles.
MNGBlog: If you could tell your fans anything, what would you say?
MB: Thank you. I’ve never been more excited for the future and I’m listening to everything you have to say. Ask us to write a song about you and we probably will, and then we’ll come over and play it for you.
Listen to “Phantom Limb” below.