Sound of the Week: Sudan Archives

Violinist, singer, songwriter, and producer Sudan Archives has released a video for “Limitless,” a highlight from her acclaimed debut album Athena, directed by Femke Huurdeman of CANADA. It lands ahead of her US headline tour for the album (nearly half the dates for which have sold out) and a run of international festivals, including Primavera Sound, Big Ears, Firefly, BBC 6 Music Festival, The Great Homecoming, and more.

The “Limitless” video engages with the album’s central theme of duality, itself informed by Sudan’s own experiences as a twin. Femke says of the video: “It’s about opposite elements and how, as a person, you can feel torn between multiple feelings. 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.”

Athena is out now on Stones Throw Records. For her debut album, Sudan Archives opened herself up to studio collaboration, employing a cadre of talented musicians and producers including Washed Out, Wilma Archer, Paul White (Danny Brown, Charli XCX), and Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, Sampha, Adele). The result is her most wide-ranging music to date, experimenting with hip-hop influences, highly charged bass lines, and brimming with hooks and harmonies. Reception to the album has been rapturous, including high praise from The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, VOGUE, Pitchfork, Stereogum, NPR, Paper, HYPEBEAST, and more. Deeply ambitious, sometimes vulnerable, and always beautiful, Athena is a powerful statement from a musician who has always resisted easy categorization.

February 20 – Vancouver, BC – Fortune Sound Club
February 21 – Seattle, WA – Barboza SOLD OUT
February 22 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge SOLD OUT
February 24 – San Francisco, CA – Swedish American Hall SOLD OUT
February 25 – Oakland, CA – Starline Social Club SOLD OUT
February 28 – Santa Barbara, CA – SOhO Music Club
February 29 – San Diego, CA – Casbah
March 3 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry SOLD OUT
March 4 – Chicago, IL – Sleeping Village SOLD OUT
March 5 – Detroit, MI – Deluxx Fluxx
March 6 – Toronto, ON – Long Boat Hall
March 7 – London, UK – BBC6 Music Festival SOLD OUT
March 9 – Boston, MA – Great Scott SOLD OUT
March 11 – Washington, DC – Union Stage
March 12 – New York, NY- Bowery Ballroom
March 13 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brendas SOLD OUT
March 26 – Knoxville, TN – Big Ears Festival
May 8 – Cincinnati, OH – The National Homecoming festival
June 7 – London, UK – Cross The Tracks: Brixton’s Soul, Jazz, & Funk Feast
June 18 – Dover, DE – Firefly Music Festival
August 20 – Brecon, UK – Green Man Festival

Feature photo by Alex Black