SUN JUNE – ” Years “

Posted: December 6, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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The latest release by Austin label Keeled Scales, Years is the debut album from fellow Austin residents Sun June. The band was formed by founding members Laura Colwell and Stephen Salisbury when they were working in Terrence Malick’s editing rooms, and even practised in the office when Malick was away. Now they’ve added Michael Bain (guitar), Sarah Schultz (drums), and Justin Harris (bass) to become the quintet that is Sun June.

Years is a record shaped and propelled by the gentle forces of the world, The album opens with the swaying slo-mo folk rock song ‘Discotheque’, Colwell showing off her impressive vocals with a kind of husky and effortless passion. The track conjures gentle winds that swirl in plaintive yearning, lifting memories and images and twisting them into a full nostalgic picture with the slow rhythm of nature. ‘Slow Rise II’ is equally patient, beginning with snake-like guitar and a kind of wary soul-bearing. “Go ahead and look me in the eye,” Colwell sings, “tell me everything will be alright, oh I’m lonely too.” It’s a moment of unguarded honesty that closes distances, and which lays the groundwork for the catharsis that comes later. The last minute of the song distils what has until then been encoded between the lines, infused with a golden energy as it whips up into a rousing finale, Colwell repeating the line “I’m coming home” with increasing fervour.

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Indeed, repetition forms a key part of Sun June’s sound on Years, a number of the tracks returning to a repeated phrase, cyclical patterns that rise in intensity like incantations, or else echo out into the fabric of the sound. ‘Young’ is an example of the former, a track we described previously as “staring back in time not to find answers or cast blame, but instead for the fleeting chance to warm your face on the now lost glow of past love.” After a restrained start, the song eventually kicks into a little eddy of motion, spurred by the catchy chorus, as though each cycle generates further motion.

Whispered and winey, ‘Johnson City’ features emotions fermented, made velvety with age, the taste haunting tongues beyond the moment, before ‘Homes’ presses forward with a sense of brooding intimacy that oozes and creeps. ‘Records’ is carried as if by a fresh spring breeze, with Colwell singing “I’ll try to love you right” and the rhythm possessing a warmth that goes halfway to fulfilling the promise. This warmth leaks through into ‘Apartments’, intensifying as the crispness is replaced by the humid heat of confused dreams, before ‘Baby Blue’ cools into an icy certainty. This is the darkest, most brooding track on the record, the drums tight and insistent, the vocals likewise, the track gathering momentum under its own motion, and though descending evenly from great height.

Released June 15th, 2018

Laura Colwell, Michael Bain, Justin Harris, Stephen Salisbury, Sarah Schultz

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