London singer/songwriter and producer Sans Soucis is back with their first single of 2023 with the release of the electro-retro pop track “Merchants.” The latest in a series of singles the Italian-Congolese artist has shared since their 2021 EP On Time For Her, a seven-track collection that unveiled the dynamic and multi-genre soul of their music. One that’s informed as much by Congolese Rumba as it is a love of Italian songwriters like Fabio Concato — which Sans Soucis then mixes with their penchant for composing such spellbindingly lush melodies.
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On their newest single “Merchants,” Sans Soucis ruminates dreamily about their experience moving to the U.K. on their own at just 20 years old. “Why did you bring something new to this land?” they question in a voice dripping with wet rays of sunshine that are then sublimely dowsed by the song’s melancholy synths. The entire track ebbs and flows with alternating currents of scintillating electronica and Sans Soucis’ own effervescent vocals.
The song grapples buoyantly with the complicated feelings of someone who’s left home to live in an entirely different country, tracking both the necessity of the move with its bittersweetness. “Merchant traders / Came back,” Sans Soucis sings, before comparing themselves instead to a sailor that does not return.
In a lot of ways, the song is about recontextualizing a difficult period in your life. Creating out of the spacey soundscape what they call an “epic journey” as well as a “psychedelic one.” And nowhere is that better visualized than in the music video for “Merchants,” created by Rob Davies.
In it, Sans Soucis appears sailing atop a large blue bird before they’re dropped in a free fall into a new land, immediately encountering alien creatures and beings that chase them away. But by the end of the video they’ve managed to confront their fears made manifest in this animated fever dream, with the song fading out as Sans Soucis rides the bird from the beginning as they soar through the sky.
“Moving to the UK has been one of the most transformative experiences of my life, as well as being one of the most challenging,” Sans Soucis said. “Going through my coming of age, in what was literally an unknown territory, affected my sense of belonging and my sense of self. Through radical self-preservation I was able to search for my authentic voice as a human being. During this journey, fear, external validation and social alienation have followed me everywhere, but the narrative is changing and it’s good to be able to look at these feelings, understand them, and move on.”
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Words by Steven Ward
Watch the music video for “Merchants” the new single from Sans Soucis below!