Origins is a recurring new music feature in which a musician breaks down the various influences of their latest track.
With his 2017 debut EP, Hopeless Romantic, San Francisco’s Justin Cheromiah offered a peek into his world of young love and heartache. Now, the 18-year-old indie songwriter known as High Sunn will expanded on that release with his full-length debut album, Missed Connections.
Due out May 4th through PNKSLM, the album picks up where High Sunn’s EP left off. The record touches on all the uncertainty and fears associated with growing up — the unrequited crushes, fluctuating feelings, and a sense of being without direction. It also sees the multi-cultural Cheromiah (he’s of Native American, Chinese, German, and Filipino descent) teaming up again with producer Dylan Wall (Craft Spells, Naomi Punk).
Today, Consequence of Sound is premiering a new song off the LP, “I Thought You Were”. Here, Cheromiah channels his love of ’90s indie rock — think the whimsy and chunky, angular guitars of Built to Spill or Modest Mouse. “I thought you were there/ But when I opened my eyes I saw nothing but air/ Was it a disguise?” he asks in search of a loved one. “Where are you?”
Take a listen to the track below.
For more insight into the new offering, Cheromiah has detailed the various inspirations that helped bring “I Thought You Were There” to fruition. In addition to the music of Coldhart and Richie Jen, boba tea and skateboarding played an important role.
This film really inspired me to create a lot of the songs on the album. The whole scenario that the character was in seemed to be very cute and innocent. I rewatched this about 5-6 times. It’s one of Ghibli’s underappreciated films that deserves far more recognition. Anime in general really influenced the making of “Missed Connections”. I spent a lot of time watching several series/movies. Haha ew huh. In particular, the song, “Kokuhaku”, is the most significant product that came from watching the anime. The cliches in anime are perfect.
Coldhart — “I Don’t Wanna Die In California”:
Coldhart has always seeped into my playlists. He is one of my favorite artists actually. I had the opportunity to work with him and release his tapes, which is something I never would have imagined. Well, at the time I recorded the album, this specific song was on repeat. The depressive and emotional nature of the song comforted me in a way and played some influence in the writing process.
Everyday I used to get boba (milk tea). Instead of eating a meal for lunch, it would be boba. I would skip a meal to get my fix after school. It’s super unhealthy, but soooo good. Hahaha. I remember that I would have either Jasmine Milk Tea or WinterMelon Tea next to me whenever I wrote a song. I even had my drummer, Joe, go on a boba run when we recorded in studio.
When I wasn’t writing or watching anime, I was outside skating. It’s a form of therapy that either helped clear my mind or think more deeply. It’s good to take a break from writing music and doing something else you really like. If I didn’t get outside and skate, I would have probably lost my mind.
Richie Jen — “Too Softhearted”:
This song is a must listen. I occasionally revisit this song because of how cheesy (but good cheesy) it is. It’s a classic. This is the OG of emo music hahaha. I can feel Jen’s heartache through his soft cries. It definitely accompanied me when I was writing the album.