Photo Credit: A Strong Photo
PhasesLM, aka Paula Boyd Sutor, is a groundbreaking, genre-bending, synth-centric artist making waves in the San Francisco Bay Area music scene.
A horror film buff and self-professed cat lady, Sutor was born in central Pennsylvania and discovered her love for music in her teens. She quickly found herself immersed in the world of entertainment, joining and forming a variety of original bands, including an all-mom punk band, ever since. Over the course of her extensive career, she has shared a stage with Debora Iyall of Romeo Void and has played acclaimed music festivals such as Vans Warped Tour.
After battling life’s ups and downs, and facing multiple personal challenges, tragedy and the devastating wildfires in her home state, Sutor is taking the opportunity to return to music and ignite her solo career. In the middle of the pandemic lockdown, the intuitive singer and songwriter found sanctuary in her home studio, concocting a dreamy brand of pop that reflects her greatest influences, such as Peter Gabriel, Robyn and Gary Numan. Her distinctive style offers listeners enthralling surreal soundscapes that will transport them to another place in time. “I began with just playing around with sounds and synth phrases instead of writing with the idea of lyrics first,” she says. “In the end I stayed as instrumental as possible, letting the synth leads be my voice, which is completely new territory for me.”
Sutor is currently preparing for the release of her new EP “Out At Night,” which is set to drop in March. While the four-song EP is a personal account of the August 2020 lightning event that sparked hundreds of wildfires throughout northern California, it also reflects the foreboding overarching narrative that dominated the past year. “I wanted to tell the story of the summer of 2020 from a very personal point of view,” she explains, “to convey the sense of unreality the whole year’s events seemed to embody.” With this project, for the first time, Sutor stays true to herself, expressing her creativity without limits and breaking free from the conventional ideology that music must be vocal or lyric-based.
Instead of preaching conformity, Sutor will inspire listeners to let their own creativity soar, leaving them free to interpret her songs as they speak to them, and reminding us all that music can be anything we want it to be and mean anything we want it to mean. “Music is my favorite drug,” she says. “It enhances moments, it changes moods…it’s a shapeshifter. A song will mean one thing to the artist who wrote it and then the listener can take that song and the song will take the shape of the listener’s feelings. That’s magic!”
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