Album Review: Sun June – ‘Somewhere’

I could use a road trip right about now, and Sun June‘s new, beautiful tapestry of an album ‘Somewhere‘ would be playing on repeat throughout. It’s a prom record you never knew you needed, achingly bringing you back to a time where your youth would cry out for change. You could be travelling through the forgotten and wayward beauty of the United States, and you’d be able to connect to every single track on that record. ‘Somewhere’, released by this wonderfully warm 5-piece Austin, Texas-based band, is a record that lies somewhere between space and time, dream and the present moment.

Their debut video release, a fantastically appropriate ‘homemade’ video for ‘Everything I had‘, is the track that hooked me from the very start with lead singer Laura Colwell’s ethereal vocals: “Got a new apartment / Three doors down from where I used to live /We’re not getting any younger”. I think the poignancy in these lyrics, and in other tracks like the darker sounding Karen O and Singing really capture the theme of love that grows and changes with time. You can literally hear the sound and feel of the songs evolve from one track to the next, which is a feat that’s a huge credit to the synergy of the entire band. It’s almost as if their sound matured by the end of the album, which is to say I’d like to imagine they wanted to tap into a rawer, more original sound then their previous self-coined “regret pop” LP Years.

It makes perfect sense. The whole album is a celebration of love and everything it entails, whilst sub-themes are beautifully highlighted: “performance, addiction, loneliness, and loss”. Sun June‘s quintet, featuring Stephen Salisbury, Michael Bain on lead guitar, Sarah Schultz on drums, and Justin Harris on bass each bring their gentle, yet driven soul to ‘Somewhere’. ‘Karen O’ struck a particularly emotional chord with me. Cinematic in sound, yet familiar in in the lyrics, the line “I saw a fine young man in a two-thousand dollar suit / Do his best Bob Dylan for a crowded room” reminded me of all those times I was both audience member and performer, and somehow always seemed to notice the “man” in his expensive suit, secretly wishing he had chosen the road less travelled, so chose to play it candidly cool with one-off performances. The struggle is real, as we know, so naturally by the time the track ‘Seasons‘ played it came across as soft call of making peace with the state of things.

The drumming, synths and LA electric guitar slides sealed the deal for this record, perfectly in sync with Cowell’s effervescently cool vocals. Closing track ‘Colours’, a sure change from the usual dream pop vibe, gave a perfect nod to how the band started out in LA, then made the transition to Texas. It was probably the most relatable track on the album, its acoustic guitar sounding like it could be a strumming from your next door neighbour, and the acoustic piano an almost angelic covering of all the angst, loss, and confusion we would experience listening to a coming-of-age record – because that’s what this album ultimately feels like: 10 years after prom, on your way home, your love gazing out the window from the passenger seat.

If you’re craving nostalgia, gentleness and a earthy vibe check out this beautiful gem of a record, and support Sun June’s ‘Somewhere’ here.

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