Jim Styring Interview: New Music Coming Early 2024

Jim Styring from It’s Karma It’s Cool shared the details of new music he’ll be releasing in early 2024.

1). Jim, I understand you’ve been in the studio working on a side project, with the goal of releasing it early in 2024. What can you tell us about it?

Hi Mike, yes, it’s something we’ve talked about for a while, but never really had the time. Solitary Bee will be releasing a digital only EP ‘Bloom’ early next year. They’re a bunch of new songs that don’t really fit with the It’s Karma It’s Cool sound (whatever that is). We just thought it best to have a separate band/project to save any confusion amongst our followers. If people like the songs, we may release them on CD at a later date. We’re really just testing the water to see what people think. We obviously hope people enjoy them, we’ve put as much time and effort into them as we would an IKIC album, but it feels more like a record we’ve had to make for ourselves first and foremost, or the demos would have sat around forever and never seen the light of day.

2). You’ve been working with Martyn and Mikey from It’s Karma It’s Cool on an Electro Pop EP. That’s a change of pace for you…what inspired this direction?

They’re ideas and demos we’ve had for a while, just sitting there waiting till we could find an opportunity to work on them. It’s a side to our writing that’s always been there, we’ve just never really had chance to show it before. We listen to a lot of different kinds of music; bands like, The Postal Service, Explosions in the Sky, Midlake, Death Cab For Cutie, Cigarettes After Sex etc. but, as always, it’s hard to label exactly what it is we’re doing with Solitary Bee ; electro pop with some big guitar thrown in, I guess wouldn’t be too far from the truth.

3). Is this the first time you’ve used programmed drums, as opposed to live? Do you have a preference?

Yes it is. As we said goodbye to It’s Karma It’s Cool’s drummer, Danny Krash, a few months ago, we knew the time was right to bring out the drum machines for these new songs. It was kind of ‘now or never’ (IKIC fans needn’t worry though, we shall be announcing the new Karma drummer early next year, with new IKIC music to follow) The programmed drums just work so well in the new songs.

4). Did any other aspects of the project differ from what you normally do? Did you follow the same writing process?

We consciously made a decision to make these new songs sound as different to IKIC as we could; if we found ourselves sounding too similar, we re-worked the idea. We wanted this to be a collection of songs that could stand on their own, even if you’ve never heard IKIC before. The writing process was pretty much the same, the musical ideas were sent over to me from Martyn and Mikey and I worked on the melodies and lyrics. We spent time working on moods and textures with these songs, something that we wouldn’t necessarily do with an IKIC record.

5). What aspects of the new music will feel familiar to It’s Karma It’s Cool fans?

I guess the melodies and hooks are still in there, and of course they’ll recognise my voice, but we’ve approached these songs differently. I would hope that anyone who’s followed It’s Karma It’s Cool so far will find something here to enjoy; we’re proud of the songs and are looking forward to people hearing them, but don’t expect an It’s Karma It’s Cool sounding EP. There will be more info as we get nearer to the release date early next year.