- Words Notion Staff
S.F. Johnson delves into the full spectrum of emotion on debut album, ‘Digital Utopia’.
With his debut album Digital Utopia, S.F. Johnson is opening a new chapter. Having spent most of his 20s singing in Leeds-based band Goodbye Chanel – later known as Modern Pleasure – the Newcastle-Upon Tyne born artist moved to Tokyo five years ago and started releasing solo music. Having dropped his first EP ‘Songs from and Empty Orchestra’ (in which he established his own version of ‘Motel Pop’) and since moved back to the UK, Digital Utopia is his first full release back on home soil.
The move sparked a reflective time for the artist, which shines through throughout the album. Blending fresh and nostalgic sounds, it feels like a meditation on his past, present and future. Candidly introspective, S.F. Johnson explores deeply personal questions that somehow feel universal – and at times, deeply existential. Delving into the full spectrum of emotion and the human experience, he isn’t afraid to lean into darkness in his lyrics, but lifts them with light melodies and anthemic moments. From quietly hopeful moments and stripped-back instrumentation (on tracks like ‘Fall Right In’), to rousing, gritty moments of release (on focus track ‘Blood Bath’), it’s music that provides a safe space to feel the depths of our emotions, but also to find the silver linings.
“When I’m struggling, the only way I know how to help myself is through a song,” S.F. Johnson explains. “I wrote down all the themes I wanted to talk through with myself: starting with childhood, family, purpose, my relationships, trust, fear, the past, hope, our place in the modern world.”