October 2021 - TURN IT UP: Sun Sounds


Dreamy desert music that lifts the soul and sparks the heart with electronic pop vibes. That’s Sun Sounds. A musical duo featuring vocalist Tessa Nickerson and her partner Will Ribbans, is making waves in the local music scene with their live performances, as well as songs released and available online. Their music is a journey of songs that uplift on a relaxing evening while watching that New Mexico sunset spill its orange rays into the horizon. I had the privilege to chat with them about what inspires them to keep creating their music.


NME: How did the idea initially come up to start Sun Sounds? What were your inspirations and how did everything kind of fall together to make Sun Sounds what it is today?

Will: When we met we discovered both of us played a little bit of guitar and liked a lot of the same music. Tessa's voice blew me away. At the time I was producing electronic and hip hop beats, but really always wanted to improve my guitar playing. I would make guitar based loops and beats and eventually Tess would come in and start singing on them. We slowly got more organized and put a couple songs together. We played some live streams during the pandemic and got a really good response which was nice. It comes easy because I will always be making beats and Tessa will always want to sing.


NME: How would you best describe your music?

Tessa & Will: Our music could be described as uplifting, easy-going, and, at times, energetic. We have been calling it Indie Pop music. It incorporates classic instruments like keys and electric guitar, but often uses electronic drums, synthesizers, and other elements.

NME: What are some of your favorite songs you have written, and why?

Will: Tangerine Summer was one of the first we wrote where we really felt like we had tapped into something good. In a lot of ways it defined a style for us that seemed to best describe us. It feels very nostalgic and reminds of us living here in New Mexico and enjoying Summer evenings. Our new single "Dizzy" feels similar and we are really excited to get it out.


Tessa: Tangerine Summer is one of my favorite songs we’ve written together. Willo and I had just gotten back home from a sunset bike ride along the Bosque and wrote that song together after that ride. The lyrics I wrote reflect an image of being outside on a summer day here in New Mexico and a few other parts of the lyrics were written with my dad in mind. As a child my dad would take us on outdoor adventures and I’ll always be really grateful for that.


NME: What lifts your spirit and inspires you to be in a good mindset for creating music?

Will: Listening to artists we love and that inspire us. Seeing our local friends play can also be really inspiring for us. Honestly we are lucky to have each other and though mornings are always tough, having each other definitely helps get through the day.

Tessa: Nature is one of our biggest inspirations. Staying active and connected to our bodies is really important to keep our creative juices flowing. We also just really love being a part of our community, being able to inspire others. It’s awesome to see the Albuquerque community flourish and blossom in the creative arts through this pandemic, we are surrounded by so many talented artists and that is really inspiring for us to see and be part of.


NME: Do you have any upcoming shows/events coming up? Song releases? Where can folks find your music to listen to?

Tessa & Will: Dizzy, our summer single should be out mid-September. We will

be playing at the Albuquerque Open Space Visitor Center September 18th from

6pm-8pm. - Cheryl Lowe


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