SSION Loves Making Witchy Music

“I love things that are funny and I love things that are dark but I don’t want to just play on one sort of feel.”
Reading time 2 minutes
Photography by Christelle De Castro, Fashion by Julian Antetomaso

David Bowie had Ziggy Stardust, Stefani Germanotta has Lady Gaga, but for Cody Critcheloe, SSION is more than just a professional moniker/stage name.

Pronounced “shun,” it’s a multifaceted creative project (which he spearheads)—an all-encompassing artistic force consisting of videos, art, and live performance in addition to music. Hailing from the state of Kentucky, the group first assembled as a punk rock band, which functioned as their portal into a creative universe not afforded to them by their hometown. “I was hanging out with a group of girls and I was like we should start a band—I really wanted to be in a band,” Critcheloe states. “[So] we did.”

Their sound today has evolved into a cosmopolitan art-pop/dance-funk hybrid quite different from that of its infancy, but the noisy, freeing spirit of punk is very much alive and well. Think Warhol’s factory dressed in a ripped-up cow-print coat of raw, creative freedom. When it comes to songwriting, Critcheloe isn’t afraid to channel his inner contrarian, blending opposites to create something that’s both unique and harmonious. “I always try to have something in each song that twists it,” he says, addressing the duality behind SSION’s sound. “I love things that are funny and I love things that are dark but I don’t want to just play on one sort of feel.”

Their latest album, O, released earlier this year, marks a new era for the band, one that pokes fun at electronic music, but don’t you dare call it a parody—it’s a sophisticated form of audio subversion. This time around, SSION is joined by a gaggle of A-list collaborators that include Patty Schemel, Sky Ferreira, Róisín Murphy, Ariel Pink, and more. Each track can be associated with almost anything, from first kisses to first breakups and everything in between. “You can have that with movies,” he adds. “But I feel with music it’s hands down the witchiest thing you can possibly do. It’s a true witchcraft magic in a beautiful kind of way—I’m always attracted to that challenge.”


Hair: Yuki Kim (Bridge Artists)

Makeup: Kento Utsubo

Makeup Assistant: Mao Uga

Digital Technician: Brandon Avriam

Catering: Better Being

Design: Cathryn Carey (Stoneman)

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