Sunset Neon

Los Angeles, USA

Breaking the Surface


Behind the Music

Two things strike me most about The Outlaw Ocean. The first is how absolutely little the world at large tends to hear about these cases. I certainly had no clue. They are out of sight and out of mind for most of us as a result of the concentrated efforts to hide inhumane treatment, illegal actions, and inconvenient facts by those who stand to profit from these acts. Much as you don’t realize what’s occurring below the surface when you gaze out at ocean waves from the shore, much of what happens out on the ocean remains invisible. 

In reading about all the cruelty fueled by indifference out there, it is easy to feel outmatched and pessimistic. But the second thing that strikes me about the book’s order and juxtaposition is how in the face of seemingly insurmountable corruption, brutality, and carelessness, there are still people dedicated to helping fight the cruelty. 

Whereas my other music has more of a darker, wilder nighttime feel, the music I made in this Sunset Neon project is a poppy, hazy nostalgia meant for daytime listening. In order to match those feelings of duality that hit me in reading the book, it had to be more than shimmering upbeat synths, so I built a base of wistful melancholy with a glimmer of cautious hope, all wrapped up in the vessel of lo-fi electronic pop.

Sunset Neon
About Sunset Neon

Born out of the screen glow flicker of late night VHS tapes and ‘80s-inspired radness, Sunset Neon is the project from multi-genre artist/producer Blue Stahli that combines indie-pop, glitchy nu-disco, chill lo-fi nostalgia, catchy pop melodies, midnight power anthems and the atmosphere of hazy neon-lit dreamscapes.

The Journalism behind the Music

All music in this project is based on The Outlaw Ocean, a New York Times Best-Selling book by Ian Urbina that chronicles lawlessness at sea around the world. This reporting touches on a diversity of abuses ranging from illegal and overfishing, arms trafficking at sea, human slavery, gun running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and other topics.

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