The Greek myth of Icarus is well known. The son of the skilled craftsman Daedalus, when his father builds them wings to escape their imprisonment in Crete, in his excitement, Icarus flies too close to the sun, plummeting into the sea as the wax binding the wings together melts in the heat.
Most traditionally known as a cautionary tale, for Kero Kero Bonito’s Sarah Bonito, she first saw the tale as a celebration of human courage and the willingness to push oneself beyond boundaries. It’s this interpretation that formed the core inspiration of her debut solo EP under her new moniker Cryalot.
Released today, ‘Icarus’ is five tracks of heavy hyper-pop leaning gems that find Sarah translating her hardest moments into an exploration of courage and resilience. We hopped on Zoom with her to find out more…
Hey Sarah! Your debut solo EP has just arrived, how are you feeling?
It’s weird. Like, I haven’t really kind of sat down and took it all in really? It’s strange. I’m super excited.
Going back to the beginning, how did your Cryalot project come about?
Around 2018, I opened an Instagram account called Cryalot. Initially, I was going through a dark period of my life and I wanted an outlet, or some kind of space, to post stuff that’s not really Sarah Bonito. When it came to naming the account, I was crying a lot during that period, so I was like, ‘Fuck it, I’ll call it Cryalot’. I guess, like, looking back at it, it was my kind of attempt to kind of take control of those moments and owning those moments, and not letting those tears be just tears in the end.
So it started off with an Instagram account, and then when I was touring as KKB, I was touring with Jennifer Walton, who was a live member, and I was spending every day with her, and I got to really know her. That’s when I started thinking, ‘Oh, I really want to make music under Cryalot and I really want to make it with her’. It just kind of happened from there. After touring, we got into the studio together and started writing, and now we’re here!
When you first opened the Instagram account in 2018, was music always the end goal?
Yeah! I was like, I guess I want to do something creative, but when I opened it I wasn’t sure. Like, will it be music? Will it be visual arts? During that period, it was really hard to even create things, so I was moving very slow. When I opened it, it was like a glimmer of hope or something. So yeah, it took a long time to get here. I guess at the start I just wanted to like make something out of it. I think that was the initial thought.
How come you decided to do something solo as opposed to with KKB?
KKB is always gonna be music me, Gus [Lobban] and Jamie [Bulled] make, and then Cyralot is kind of more personal to me. I wouldn’t have been able to do it, like other artists, having different producers for different songs. It was really hard to write those songs as well. I really needed someone who I had a foundation with, and Jennifer has this solo music which has a slight darkness that I was really attracted to. It just felt right.
What was the first song that you created for the project?
I would say it was ‘Hell Is Here’, which is funny to me because, listening back, it’s the song that’s most close to the dark moments.
How was the process of taking these dark moments and making them into music?
It was hard at the start, but once I got into the rhythm, it got better and better. It was kind of weird. It was, like, very cathartic. Really hard, but cathartic. The more I went for it, the more I came out of the [dark] moments. It felt like a journey. I feel like totally like a different person compared to when I was writing ‘Hell Is Here’. I think it really helped me heal from it.
“The EP is my way of kind of rewriting the interpretation people have Icarus.”
Can you tell us about some of the other stories on the EP?
The EP is titled ‘Icarus’ because I wanted to explore the mythology of Icarus through five tracks. When I was around six or seven-ish, I came across this song through my school. It was a song about Icarus and I was really obsessed with it, but this song was a different interpretation of the mythology. The most common interpretation is a cautionary tale, like don’t push yourself or you might die. But this song that I first came across about Icarus was celebrating the courage or the beauty of human beings pushing themselves to become something more. I was really attracted to that kind of interpretation.
Since then, all my life, it’s become kind of this life philosophy I always try to live up to. When I was going through those dark moments, I felt like I kind of forgot about that. I always wanted to explore that topic, and then it felt like the right time to do it, personally as well, because I wanted to remind myself about it. That’s why I decided to go for this theme. The EP is my way of rewriting the interpretation people have of Icarus, but I don’t want to make it sound like ‘Oh, it’s all happy, and it’s gonna be fine, everything’s gonna be fine’. I wanted to narrate the failure and success and everything in between, and celebrate that courage I feel like everyone has. I think that’s what makes human beings beautiful or excited to live life.
Is there a particular song you’re most excited for people to hear?
I really like the last song, ‘See You Again’. It’s my response to people saying, ‘Well, Icarus died and that’s the sad thing, that’s a bad thing’. I kind of wanted to be like, ‘Well, yes, he died, but we still talk about him’. I don’t see death as the end of all. The fact that the story is passed down, he’s kind of immortal in a way…
What are you hoping that people take away from the EP?
It would be great if people can see my interpretation of it. I guess, everyone in their life has those moments where it’s like, do or die, or there’s like a decision to fly or not fly. It’ll be nice if people can be inspired by how I see the story.
How do you think KKB fans will react to the project?
I’m really honoured that there are fans who want to listen to what whatever music I make. Even with KKB, we’ve genre-jumped a few times now, and we have amazing fans who want to join our journey, even when we change genres. It kind of really gifted me this feeling of freedom that, ‘Oh yeah, I can kind of chase after what I want to write’. I feel really supported and grateful and I can just kind of chase whatever music I want.
Finally, what are your next plans as Cryalot?
It’s been really fun writing with Jenny and I want to keep writing with her. It feels like there’s a new a new door opened and it’s like a beginning to something. I definitely want to continue this project and and take it to the next level or wherever feels good. So yeah, it feels like a new beginning for Cryalot.
Get your copy of the latest issue
More like this
It comes ahead of the release of her debut EP ‘Icarus’ tomorrow, 2nd September.
Lifted from upcoming debut EP ‘Icarus’.
DIY’s essential, weekly (ish) guide to the best new music.
Check out first single ‘Hell Is Here’ now.