The smalltown boy with a big man’s voice is back.
Where the 25-year-old British singer-songwriter Chris de Sarandy’s bittersweet ‘Like I Don’t Know You’ described the slow process of growing apart, it is the singer’s unique ability to wear heart on his sleeves and express male vulnerability that are in full display on his new single ’Smalltown Queen’, released on Embassy of Music ( 2 September).
Guitar-driven synth-pop song reminiscent of the Noughties chillwave, ’Smalltown Queen’ was written during a trip to Spain with the producer Marcus Brosch. According to Chris, the time they spent eating out, walking on the beach, and having the 1979 hit ‘Walking On The Moon’ by The Police on a heavy rotation (‘Marcus loves the song’) was ‘reflective’ and fed directly into the lyrics.
‘Heading for the city lights, girl I know you adore the sights / We can walk on the moon / That be enough for you?’
The quiet beaches and half-empty tapas bars of Spain are not a million miles away from the dreamlike feel of a sleepy Cornish seaside town the song is set in. “They are not getting the best out of their lives by staying in the small town,” Chris reckons. “They are not really living.” It’s the end of their safe yet ultimately unsatisfying semi-existence and a fresh start in a big city that could well come between them. “Having a relationship in a small town is easy,” Chris states.
“It’s harder to leave because you’re afraid of losing the other person when they change.”
Grown up in South West England, Chris de Sarandy started playing in an indie band when he was 14. After feeling constricted by artistic differences, wanting to move towards more ’natural and mature’, Chris went solo. Following his move to Berlin in the footsteps of famous songwriters such as Nick Cave and David Bowie, Chris got to know producers and fellow musicians, and start working on ideas that would later become his first singles ‘Good Girl, Sad Boy’ and ‘Like I Don’t Know You’. Soon after he was discovered by Berlin’s independent record company Embassy of Music who saw the artistic potential in Chris and decided to sign him. If there is one thing Chris has proven, it is this: if a young artist can pull the listener toward emotional truth, there’s no limit to what they can achieve.
‘Chris tells of the emotions that everyone in their mid-twenties shares – and thanks to his voice and flair for unique melodies always leaves a lasting impression.’ (The Lowdown)
‘A ballad with sentimentality to the fore. Chris’s interpretation has a passionate rawness. It seduces the ears and carries the message of poetics.’ (Fernando Núñez, Visual Atelier 8)