Iconic 90s bands & a bold acapella, The Lazy Sunsets take us through their inspirations

The Lazy Sunsets’ “I Wish You Stayed” isn’t just a song—it’s a journey through the craft of songwriting.

A chance online encounter brought together Australia’s Pete Stephenson and Tennessee’s Kara Greskovic, giving birth to a project that defies genre boundaries.

Originally a mellow piano ballad, “I Wish You Stayed” evolved into a pop-rock track with a sprinkle of 90s and 00s vibes. It’s the kind of music that speaks to your soul.

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The Lazy Sunsets shares the tracks that influenced this musical metamorphosis, offering a peek behind the curtain. These songs aren’t blueprints; they’re sparks of inspiration that helped shape their unique sound.

So, get ready to kick back and join Lazy Sunsets on this musical journey. “I Wish You Stayed” isn’t just a song—it’s an experience.

5 Songs which inspired “I Wish You Stayed”

I Wish You Stayed” in its original form was a slow piano ballad comprising a verse and chorus. Years later I revisited it, finished the rest of the song and released it with a 90-00s pop rock feel.

When deciding on the overall vibe of the song there were a number of my favourite songs which influenced it:

Oliver Tree – Cowboys Don’t Cry

I love the acapella start to this, which makes you feel you’ve been instantly transported to the midst of a intimate conversation.  It really works, and  with the acoustic guitar following it up it’s such a great sound. 

I wanted the same feeling with “I Wish You Stayed”. Though being a pop rock song, it felt too bare being purely acapella hence the hi-hat was added, which also provides a nice lead in. There was supposed to be 4 hi-hat beats originally, but was shortened to 2 in line with the faster song tempo.

Jess Day – Seven


I really like the start of this song – there’s very little build up – within  5 seconds you’re right into the song with the heavy guitar and bass. There’s also some distortion in the sounds which gives you a live sound feel as well.

I wanted “I Wish You Stayed” to take the listener right into the action, no slow build, just an immediate drop into a tough conversation. The distortion provides almost a feeling of foreboding against the pure vocals.

Sleeper – Inbetweener

An iconic 90s band – this was one of their biggest hits. I love the female vocals with semi melancholy lyrics against the energetic rock sound and the production is just so good  – nothing overpowers the track. 

The guitar solo in “I Wish You Stayed” has a similar feel with the balance of drums and guitar and I wanted to capture a similar feeling with the song overall.

Echobelly – King of the Kerb

Another 90s UK indie rock song – I love the electric guitar playing a counter melody in the verse which works so well with the female vocal.

I wanted the same vibe in “I Wish You Stayed” and as the chord progression in the verse and chorus were a common 1-5-6-4 in E major it was just asking for a riff to be played. This also adds to the emotion of the song also, particularly in the pre-chorus, where the guitar has the freedom to move around but it still works. 

Lenny Kravitz – Fly Away

I wanted “I Wish You Stayed” to have a live concert sound. Where you could imagine being in concert watching with just guitar, bass, vocals and drums. Where the energy and rawness of the experience was captured, but maintains the professional sound. 

By doing this the listener is not only immersed in the situation of the song but also immersed in an experience, and the energy provides an interesting contrast to the sad themed lyrics.

“Fly Away” does exactly this  – it just sounds like it’s being played live – and when you listen to it being played live -it sounds just like the track!

Check out our review of The Lazy Sunsets “I Wish You Stayed” here.