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The electrifying appeal of Eliot Sumner

"Performing makes me stronger. If I was the person that I am onstage all of the time, I would probably be an asshole."
Sumner toured the UK with Lykke Li in 2014. Brian Feinzimer/Getty Images

The vocal prowess of Eliot Sumner is fully showcased on her debut album, "Information," and it proves to be just as sultry as it is cosmic. Released earlier this year from Island, "Information" has just the right amount of drama complimented by ghostly choral vocals, electro atmospherics and proggy synth flourishes.

Sumner, whose North American tour starts on June 1st, admits that she can be a bit of a musical perfectionist. However, the 25-year-old daughter of Sting and actress Trudie Styler insists that it only adds to the organic nature of her sound.

"I really believe in leaving things as they are and not forcing anything with me and the band," Sumner clarifies. "We're good friends and we've played together for three and a half years, though, so we're well rehearsed."

Aside from being a talented multi-instrumentalist (she plays bass, guitar, keyboard, and drums), Sumner also is a fearless lyricist. From the bumptious party fare of "After Dark" to the darker exotica of "Dead Arms and Dead Legs" to the obsessive agitation of the record's title track, she's proven with "Information" that transparency is the key to good songwriting.

"Everything has to come from a very real place--there are days when you feel more inspired to write than others. The whole point [of writing lyrics] is to cross boundaries," she states. "It's like mental meditation and it's the best place to be. With the next record, there will be far fewer limitations."

As far as her upcoming tour is concerned, Sumner, who otherwise splits her time between Brooklyn and London, reveals that she likes to kill her fans with kindness. "We've always made it a point to be as friendly as possible. We have a very old school way of doing things. We'll go say hi [to fans] and next time they may bring their friends to one of our shows. That's what we've learned and it just feels natural."

What also feels natural to the singer is performing live — an adrenaline rush that she has no plans of giving up anytime soon. "I enjoy touring so much that I feel like it shouldn't even be my job. I have a lot of energy onstage. It's the most amazing feeling and I'm kind of addicted to it — I'm not the same person most of the time," Sumner divulges. "Performing makes me stronger. If I was the person that I am onstage all of the time, I would probably be an asshole."

 

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