Tuesday, 26 February 2013

ALBUM: SUNSHINE - SUNSHINE

Drawing together all the happiest bits of melodic dream-pop, beachy chill-wave and vintage, washed out shoegaze, Trevor Risk, Gillian Damborg (vocals), Tyler James Quarles (bass), Ian Urbanski (guitar) and Sean Tyson (who also drums for Top Less Gay Love Tekno Party) are Vancouver’s sunniest 5-piece.  

Sunshine are a band with a sound that suits their name and they defy - with a cheery, reverby shake of a fist - the dreary overcast weather of their hometown. Following singles 'Arnprior' and 'Two Hundred Grand' that cheered up our dark December last year, the band’s debut album arrives to brighten up our grey February skies. 'Sunshine' is both an eclectic and coherent record, with sound spanning the ranges and touching the edges of sub genres from watery washed out dream pop 'Wet Thankyous' to alternative/noise rock 'The Star Spangled Rammer'. This lush array of washed out sound is complimented by guest appearances by local bands as well as producer collaborations with the likes of Sune Rose Wagner (The Raveonettes), John Collins (The New Pornographers), Woodie Taylor (Morrissey) and Hayz Fisher (The New Values). Coupled with this producer Timothy Stollenwork is expert at pulling the uplifting, the melodious and the beautiful from the rocked out guitars. 

With jangly guitars and beautiful, bold and playful electric guitar riffs, this is dreamy jangle pop at its chirpiest. Melodies, riffs and even lyrics are relentlessly sunny and upbeat, but with a heavy use of reverb and vocals paled back in the mix it never gets too much. Guitars enmesh with vocals into an enticing hazed up sound, but riffs and melodies are not blurred out so much that the sound loses its rock foundations – example: the electric rock distortion in the outro of ‘Two Hundred Grand’; or ‘Mariah,’ whose twinkly music box synth riffs dart between distorted guitar solos in a sweet as sugar cloud of melodies. 

Heavy musical influences include Nineties shoe-gazers like My Bloody Valentine or The Swirlys, and alternative noisy dream rockers such as The Raveonettes. There’s a definite UK jangle pop vein throughout the album - ‘French Exit’ being a prime example, as well as 'Two Hundred Grand' -powered by a 60s beach pop rock feel (think The Byrds). ‘Star Spangled Rammer’ takes a purer 90s rock twist – noisy, melodic, and dark with tambourine bashing and classic riffs. Single 'Arnprior’ has touches of alt and noise rock and quirky melodies with bold, fuzzed up vocals reminiscent of The Flaming Lips

It’s a juxtaposition of twee vocals and melodies with more alternative rock leanings that define the sound of this debut self titled record by Sunshine. They are certainly a band to watch out for, with this album being yet another eclectic, life affirming gem from Canada.

Buy 'Sunshine' // Sunshine


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