“The Sickness” is the album that healed me.

Dominik Sonders

Sidetrack Walker is an independent music project focusing on atmosphere and honest, emotional songwriting. Headed by German artist Dominik Sonders, it combines elements of various musical genres to form a challenging yet enjoyable blend.

From Sidetrack Walker’s inception in 2015, the project has come a long way towards establishing its own signature Dark Pop sound. No two albums sound the same, yet they are all tied together by a deep-felt sense of melancholy and authenticity. Catchy, Pop-infused arrangements go hand in hand with artistic integrity and emotional gut punches.

Dominik first started Sidetrack Walker as a side project to Memoirs, but made it his primary focus when the band folded. Ever since, he has been pursuing his unique artistic vision as a solo artist. As of 2022, he handles all the technical duties of music production himself to deliver the most authentic Sidetrack Walker experience possible.

The project’s output has moved through various stages of development and experimentalism over the years, culminating in the fifth studio album, “The Sickness”. Released in 2022, it combines elements of earlier releases with lots of exciting surprises and a stronger focus on sampling and electronics. The sound is much warmer, almost ‘retro’, drawing heavily on musical influences from the 70s and 90s alike. Despite the dark themes and atmosphere, the songs are permeated by a new-found sense of sheer fun. Consequently, they should appeal to music lovers who gravitate towards the darker side and enjoy genres such as Trip-Hop, Drum’n’Bass, Art/Prog Rock, Singer-Songwriter or even Darkwave.

While fairly diverse in their own right, the two predecessors to “The Sickness” are more easily summarised in terms of musical direction. A mostly instrumental album, “The Art of Starvation” (2020) combines neoclassical, piano-based arrangements with experimental undercurrents that yield a number of unexpected twists. “Come What May” (2019), on the other hand, gravitates more towards Rock and Folk, with proggy leanings and full-fledged band arrangements featuring acoustic drums.

Going further back in time, “Mirrors and Mirages” (2018) offers a melancholic blend of Singer-Songwriter and classical chamber music. The material for this album dates back to 2004–2006, laying the foundation for much of Dominik’s later work. Finally, in hindsight, “Confessions in Silence” (2017) seems more of an oddity in the Sidetrack Walker discography with its purely improvised piano pieces somewhere between classical and Jazz music.

With “The Sickness” released, Sidetrack Walker continues to explore the dark depths of the human condition. Confronting this existential darkness musically has proven to be a path towards beauty, catharsis and healing. In this sense, Dominik maintains: “The Sickness” is the album that healed me.