Singer-songwriter, producer and violinist Sudan Archives returns with the thoughtful new music video for her single “Limitless” from her critically-acclaimed Athena LP. The release follows past visuals like the snakeskin clad “Glorious” to the “female flip on classic rap music videos” in “Confessions”, each released late last year. The Stones Throw artist by way of Ohio enlisted Canadian director Femke Huurdeman to help her with the unique vision, shot over three days in Barcelona, Spain.
“It’s about opposite elements and how, as a person, you can feel torn between multiple feelings,” director Femke Huurdeman said of “Limitless” through an official press release. “It’s not choosing one over the other, but it’s about embracing we all have different layers, and once you know that, you can accept those complexities. A yin cannot exist without its yang, just like you can feel strong and vulnerable at the same time. Or, you can be a vampire queen but still feel heartbroken. The dancers in the video represent the twins, dualities within Sudan, going in and out of sync, pushing and pulling. I wanted to portray Sudan as fiery vampire queen, showing clearly her dark side whilst singing about more vulnerable emotions, yet in the end both sides will make her stronger than ever.”
Watch the full music video above and read our Q&A session with Sudan Archives below. She’ll be heading out on tour starting February 20 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and ending in Cincinnati, Ohio with spot dates throughout Europe later this summer. Check out full tour dates below and purchase tickets via the artist’s official website.
Athena seems like the perfect Greek goddess to kind of define the times especially for women in the music industry. What in particular drew you toward her mythology to the point where you wanted to name your project after her?
Athena is the goddess of wisdom and war which are in all of my songs, a constant battle between yin and yang. I wanted to also put new faces on great ancient history.
You also had an incredibly curated list of collaborators on this project from Paul White, to Washed Out’s Ernest Greene and Rodaidh McDonald. What was it about their respective work that drew you in to collaborate with them?
I opened myself up to collaborate with everyone so I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into at first. Yet, I learned a lot about songwriting and live performing with Rodaidh, Paul White and I both shared a passion for world music which made producing easy and from Ernest I learned a lot of new producing tips from him. From James McCall, I learned a lot about songwriting and getting those raw moments recorded live. From Los Retros I learned to never delete demos because stuck and honey would’ve never happened.
So onto your new music video for “Limitless.” Femke Huurdeman did an amazing job of capturing this surreal quality that’s beautifully shot and choreographed. How did working with her come about? And what was the process like from the initial treatment to the filming of “Limitless”?
I connected with Femke in Barcelona and we shot limitless there. It took three days to shoot. Working with a female director was amazing. We were both really focused on the aesthetics of the music video. Femke had such a strong vision for the video and pushed me to act a little more than I normally would. It was so great working with her.
“Limitless” really balances this idea that friends move on and ideals, morals shift and fluctuate. That there’s this helplessness watching someone close to you drift away and screw up and you have to love them from afar. You have to just let them fail and hope you get closer and revisit the friendship later down the line. How have you stayed focused creatively when balancing these kinds of personal relationships? And what advice might you give to someone going through changing friendships and growing apart?
Music is an outlet for me to stay focused and balanced. Instead of having a fit or getting upset I tend to write down my feelings and my friends usually tend to find their way eventually. My advice to others would be that it’s okay to grow apart, love never dies though, so be patient and you’ll adjust to the changes of your relationship.
“We’re too cool to admit it, all we have is the internet,” was definitely one of those lines that jumped out for its immediacy the first time listening to ‘Athena.’ The internet can be super empowering in terms of community but people can also lose control to chasing social status or self affirmation. Do you think the pros of interconnectivity outweigh the cons?
The pros definitely outweigh the cons. I would’ve never got a record deal if I didn’t meet and befriend a stranger on the internet who is now my best friend. I’ve made so many intimate and lasting relationships through the internet. It’s weird to say but it has taught me and helped me so much in life and got me to my position now. The internet itself is limitless.
And last but not least: when traveling on-tour what are your essentials to help you survive and maintain on the road?
I always bring a self care kit. Face masks, oils, and my favorite soaps. Bath kits for hotels so I can marinate after a show. Always bring a book. And my vape pen. And twerk out work out videos everyday in hotels!
Upcoming Sudan Archives Tour Dates
02/20 – Vancouver, BC – Fortune Sound Club
02/21 – Seattle, WA – Barboza
02/22 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
02/24 – San Francisco, CA – Swedish American Hall
02/25 – Oakland, CA – Starline Social Club
02/28 – Santa Barbara, CA – SOhO Music Club
02/29 – San Diego, CA – Casbah
03/03 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
03/04 – Chicago, IL – Sleeping Village
03/05 – Detroit, MI – Deluxx Fluxx
03/06 – Toronto, ON – Long Boat Hall
03/07 – London, UK – BBC6 Music Festival
03/09 – Boston, MA – Great Scott
03/11 – Washington, DC – Union Stage
03/12 – New York, NY- Bowery Ballroom
03/13 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brendas
03/26 – Knoxville, TN – Big Ears Festival
05/08 – Cincinnati, OH – The National Homecoming festival
06/04 – Barcelona, SP – Primavera Sound
06/07 – London, UK – Cross The Tracks: Brixton’s Soul, Jazz, & Funk Fest
06/18 – Dover, DE – Firefly Music Festival
08/20 – Brecon, UK – Green Man Festival