After a short hiatus, Sabbatical Year returns with its new project, Metropolitan, a multimedia artistic endeavor comprised of photographs, videos, and music. Metropolitan explores love, loss, and what it’s like to struggle and succeed in today’s weird world. Sabbatical Year, known for its catchy yet insightful tunes, has recently evolved in its line-up, paring down its driving creative forces to one: Nick Margiasso. Nick has re-focused the project’s sound by taking on the role of leader in his continued collaboration with many of Atlanta’s skilled musicians. Sabbatical Year effortlessly explores a new, genre-bending, electronic singer-songwriter style, incorporating poetic lyricism and sounds that were designed to move the body and inspire the mind. Not to be confined to the musical box only, the Metropolitan project is also a visual exploration, inspired by the geography, language and people that move Nick Margiasso. Metropolitan is out this April.
In this interview feature, we chat with Nick of Sabbatical Year about influences, the newest project, navigating the digital age and more.
Full Q&A along with links and streams below.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
I’m originally from New York, but based a little bit all over now, spending most time in The Big Apple, The Big Peach (Atlanta) and spells overseas. In keeping with that theme, the music I create is a mashup of the geographically boundless world in which I move — a kind of modern indie sound featuring my literary background, synths and loops, electronic beats and even some actual guitar and piano thrown in there. Sometimes I joke that it’s indie rocktronica.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to stay the course?
I’ve been making music with this band, which now just counts myself as a full time member, for almost five years now so it’s been an evolving process, but the current setup hinging heavily on studio tools allows me to do a lot by myself and then flesh it out later with other musicians should I choose. I guess I arrived here because at the end of the day I felt staying true to exactly my vision musically made for the ideal sound.
How is your new release different than previous ones? Did you set out to accomplish anything specific?
I touched on it in the last question, but this release is the first with me calling all the shots — my specific vision. It’s more modern, electronic, meaningful and verbose than my other affairs. I worked closely with a talented producer named R. Garcia who sort of set up the best canvas for me to paint on.
Do you face any challenges as an indie musician in a digital age? On the flip side, how has technology helped you (if it has)?
Oh definitely. I feel like the biggest challenge whether you’re me or Jay-Z is still that somehow music is the art form that society has decided basically has no value anymore. People still pay for paintings and movies but they want to stream all their music for free and easy and not go down and buy a record anymore. It’s really too bad. I still support musicians I like by purchasing their albums. We can’t make new music if we can’t eat. The flip side of technology is how easy it has made artists to conjure their specific sounds in the studio on their own.
Where can we follow you online and hear more music?
I’m super active on social media (just search Sabbatical Year band), especially our Twitter account @sabbaticalyear1.
Anything else before we sign off?
Just that my new record is the best thing I’ve done and, very honestly, different than most anything out there but in a good, melodic and interesting way. Give it a shot if you can spare a minute. Help me eat, friends.