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Sudan Archives' Disparate Sound, Inspired By Jellyfish, Pulls From Everywhere

Sudan Archives.
Courtesy of the artist
Sudan Archives.

Just about everyone at NPR Music's favorite discovery from SXSW this year was Brittney Parks, who records as Sudan Archives.

Today, the singer, violinist and electronic musician has a new song, "Nont For Sale," a title inspired by a sign she saw on a Ghana hillside that read: "THIS LAND IS NONT FOR SALE." It comes to us from her new EP, Sink, due at the end of May.

Brittney Parks grew up in Ohio playing the violin, often picking out melodies from her time in a church choir. At age 17, still living in Cincinnati, she told her mom that she didn't like her name; so, with a love for African jewelry and stylings, her mom gave her a new nickname, Sudan. A late-teen rebellious streak contributed to an alienation from her religious family, prompting a relocation to Los Angeles. It was there that she began exploring Sudanese music, and the violin traditions within it. They spoke to her, so she studied, incorporating those sounds' contours with a love for electronics.

"Nont For Sale" is anchored by Sudan's plucked violin, looped and punctuated by drummachine finger snaps and her swinging, clear voice. In fact, Parks describes the free-flowing swagger flowing through the song (and the whole EP) in a press release as "the way I want my music to make you feel." She writes, "It's inspired by my love of fluidity, movement of jellyfish and water."

The EPSinkis set for releaseMay 25 via Stones Throw.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.