Listen to Sniffle Party

local ‘sad girl pop’ project thrives with a stirring voice

Jordan Duroe, Christina Wolff, photos by Zach Oliphant

PASS THE KLEENEX. Serena Wagner performs as Sniffle Party at the House of Rock last fall. She has an electronic pop EP coming out on April 2 called Peach Dream, a catchy and dreamy four-track effort produced by Two Castles.
PASS THE KLEENEX. Serena Wagner performs as Sniffle Party at the House of Rock last fall. She has an electronic pop EP coming out on April 2 called Peach Dream, a catchy and dreamy four-track effort produced by Two Castles.

When you hear the name Sniffle Party you may not think of the winter cold you just finally got over, but that’s exactly what’s behind the inside joke that became the moniker of a new musical project from vocalist/songwriter Serena Wagner and Eric Christenson, a.k.a. Two Castles, who produces the melodies and makes the beats. These two have been recording and refining the first Sniffle Party EP, Peach Dream, which has a digital release set for April 2. 

It makes all the sense in the world that Serena’s first foray into recording music would be a collaborative effort.  She’s the mastermind and curator behind local poetry zine Twig and by day works as a graphic designer. In other words, working with others to bring different kinds of art into the world is not only her passion and hobby – it’s also her day job. Collaboration is a huge part of who Serena is and what she cares about.

“I also just get really inspired by my friends. They make me want to try new things and create more, so it makes sense to work together on stuff.” – Serena Wagner a.k.a. Sniffle Party

“I think it stems from my background in sports,” she said. “I always loved that feeling of being part of a team, getting to play off each other’s talents and complement each other. I also just get really inspired by my friends. They make me want to try new things and create more, so it makes sense to work together on stuff.”

The four-song EP has a sound the two describe as “dreamy sad girl pop” –  intoxicating beats layered underneath Serena’s soulful vocals. The music feels contemporary, but has a clear influence and atmosphere that is derived from ’80s synth pop – these are songs that would fit in well on the Drive soundtrack.

With Eau Claire’s own genius beatmaker Sloslylove playing the Eaux Claires festival this summer it’s a good time to be making electronic music in EC – the scene is growing and getting more attention than perhaps it ever has before. This is exciting for the duo behind Sniffle Party, but they don’t have any particular grand design for their music. They both describe it as an “in the moment” project designed for exploring, learning, and having a good time making songs.

Beyond that, Serena says she’s just excited to be a female pop voice/electronic artist in the Chippewa Valley. 

“There are great female musicians in the Valley, but there can always be more, and especially when it comes to pop music there’s not a lot doing it in the area,” Serena said. “So even if this isn’t a thing in a year or whatever, I would hope another female musician – who is probably better than me – does it, and feels welcome.”

After its April 2 release, you’ll be able to find Peach Dream by Sniffle Party at www.soundcloud.com/sniffleparty. To stay up to date, find Sniffle Party on Facebook.

Listen to "All the Snow Is Gone"

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