Dan Sadin is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, who has spent the past decade or so playing, writing and performing with an eclectic array of artists and bands including FRENSHIP, Holychild, MØ, Jessie Ware and Sabrina Claudio. Deeply influenced by the likes of Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith among others, Sadin’s songwriting draws from life’s intimate moments — the quiet conversations and moments often had in darkened bars, bedrooms and therapy sessions.
Interestingly, Sadin’s forthcoming, self-titled debut EP finds Sadin stepping out into the limelight as a solo artist and songwriter — and for an artist, whose own work was hidden out of self-consciousness and fear of rejection, it’s a a bold unveiling of an artist, who pairs earnest lyricism with rousing and enormous hooks and a pop sensibility. Thematically, the material focuses on a familiar and fairly universal personal battle that we’ve all fought and continue to fight: that choice to conform and be accepted and liked — or standing out an individual and risking rejection and loneliness. And while acknowledging that it isn’t an easy decision to make, the material suggests that it’s better to be hated for who you really are than to be liked for who you’re not.
“Sucker,” Sadin’s latest single is an earnest track, centered by an arena rock friendly hook, layers of buzzing and distorted guitars, explosive and ebullient blasts of horn, thumping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and Sadin’s plaintive vocals. The song manages to be heavily indebted to Springsteen and Petty in particular but while avoiding soulless and cliched homage and mimicry, as the song is rooted in hopeful yearning for something more, for a deeper connection based on lived-in personal experience and hard-fought, hard-earned wisdom.
“I’m terrible at small talk. I’m always pushing for the deeper, more serious conversations,” Sadin says in a lengthy statement. “When I’m out being social, talking about that stuff feels taboo and I think I end up coming across as awkward or disengaged. So I had become actually afraid of ‘going there’ and creating genuine relationships, actively trying to avoid that part of myself. But I’ve reached a point where that just isn’t working for me anymore.
“‘Sucker’ is an outpouring of that need for a deeper connection with the world around me and myself,” Sadin continues. “I had been feeling lost, caught up in a very surface level existence. I was overwhelmed with anxiety created by ignoring the things in life that really mattered to me, that were a part of my core, because I felt like I had to live up to cultural, communal and familial expectations. I felt like I had to be my own curator of what other people think is a ‘perfect life.’ And while I knew that living like that might be a way to receive instant gratification, it was also a way to avoid being with myself. Living in a world of curated successes and one-dimensional projections, only seeing what people what you to see or hear, I was riddled with anxiety about how I compare with someone else’s end product, As a result, I believed that this end goal, whatever it might be, should be something immediate when it really isn’t. I don’t see someone else’s journey, their deep, dark demons…but that’s the exciting part! That’s the part that I live for. That’s the part that makes us all human and connects us together. I know that we all struggle, we all feel lonely. We are all bound to this human experience by these very feelings, struggles and challenges I had been trying to pass over. And in doing so, I had buried my deepest most authentic self, more concerned with trying to be what I think others want to see than asking myself how I really feel and what I really want.
“This song is for my five-year old self who was in perfect alignment with his dreams, his feelings and who he was. It is meant to honor that part of myself that craves the real talk, the real connections – not just surface level interactions. And it’s a helpful reminder to not take myself too seriously. Life can be both fun and meaningful at the same time!”
Directed by Joachim Zunke, the recently released video for “Sucker” touches upon celebrity culture, social media obsession and a growing sense of disconnection — even when you’re in the company of others. But it’s also a stylish visual that follows Sadin through the streets of downtown Los Angeles, as he’s hounded by fans when he simply wants to be left alone for a little bit, and then as he dances through the streets of Los Angeles in a decidedly tongue-in-cheek 80s music video-like scene.
“JoJo’s visual realization of “Sucker” has so many direct and indirect references to the song itself, but it’s never in your face or overly self-explanatory. Joachim had the idea of playing with reality vs fantasy in a loose way – ultimately the video could be taking place on a few different planes of existence and I really love how it leaves the choice up to the viewer and how they see the world. It’s also shot in a way where it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Despite touching on the theme of searching for a deeper connection, I think there’s a stronger presence of ‘dance like no one is watching you'”