In a time where there’s tons of music coming out, it’s often difficult to hear everyone. A band we missed last year, mostly because we weren’t a publication yet, was Austin’s Sun June. The band, playing what they refer to as regret pop create some of the most endearing music you’ll get into your ears. Ahead of appearances at SXSW, we thought we’d finally review their debut full length, last year’s lovely Years.
The main takeaway here is one word, tender. The songs within are tender in a way that you don’t hear offered up in modern music. The songs aren’t antiquated by any means, but they’re also not the typical form you’re used to hearing. They aren’t bedroom pop nor are they folk, they’re just carefully placed notes with soft vocals that create a melody that’s difficult to shake. The opener, “Discotheque” is in many ways closest to music of the past, in that it’s approach is so foreign sounding. Keep in mind, this isn’t bad, there’s just very little to compare it to. The music washes over your soul like ocean water slowly dissipating a sand castle. This feeling continues on tracks like “Johnson City” and “Apartments,” where the listener is almost taken to a new place when the music plays.
It’s not all soft tones though, as there’s still enough indie rock here to keep the upticks coming. The riff fueled notes of “Slow Rise II” are only cut by Laura Colwell’s voice that comes in like an alarm without being alarming. The slow build of “Records” keeps some of those earlier soft tones, but gets met with doubled vocals that stir your heart at their intricacy. The dissonant opening of “Baby Blue” gets intersected with a full band sound that strides along like a typical indie rock song, but is far from typical in its approach. There’s so much happening here that Sun June have figured out how to make the difficult sound simple, which is possibly where all of the intrigue of what they do comes from in the first place.
You can stream Years on all streaming sites, you can purchase it in digital shops including Bandcamp, or you an preorder the album’s second pressing in various formats directly from Keeled Scales. Sun June is set to perform at this year’s SXSW music conference March 08 through March 17. They are also set to release a follow-up to Years later in 2019.
Image Credits: Photo by Bryan Parker.