There are times in life when you find yourself a little lost. Not dramatically so, but just lacking in a little conviction and direction. In times like these you need something, someone to come along that embodies and therefore illuminates the, at times, intangible values that enthuse you… As far as music goes Sunburns firmly fit this bill!
This German 5 piece, hailing from Cologne, are the exemplar of the lifeblood that fuels this blog. Currently they are about as small and independent as you can get, recording literally in a bedroom studio and having formed less than 6 months ago. Yet they produce impressively polished and affecting music that deserves to reach as many ears as possible, and so to that end we’ve a three track showcase to share with you.
First up is “Soma’s Starting” (Soma on this occasion referring most probably to that time when the sun actually shines, not the Latin for body nor indeed Aldous Huxley’s pacifying drug, although some of the lyrics could be construed as hinting at this potential dual meaning?) It opens with an affable castanet-esque beat that is gradually built upon to create a wholesome and organic yet equally light and easy instrumental upon which the entire song is propelled. The vocals then kick in in an equally uplifting manner, leading into a simple yet innately catchy chorus that firmly nestles itself away in the sub-conscious. It is however the manipulation of tempo and cadence throughout that is perhaps most effective. As a listener you are kept on a string, pulled in by the rich stratified sound which is subsequently stripped back to minimal post chorus comedowns. These then serve to accentuate the elevating continuum that leaves you wondering where exactly those last glorious four minutes went…
“Fields Of Art”, at this stage a demo recording, provides a slightly more challenging a listening experience. Gone is the easy energetic beat of “Soma’s Starting” replaced by a minimalist instrumental on which the far more poignant and yearning vocals ride. This isn’t an instant ensnaring pop hit but instead shows another element, another dimension to the band. It’s a piece that grows upon you and for that is arguably all the more rewarding.
“Dreamtime” portrays yet another slightly different facet of Sunburn’s sound. It has a far rockier feel with comparatively stronger guitar riffs opening up and complementing the straining, textured vocals. Beneath however, the same youthful and exuberant energy is evident. It is this that carries the song through to the closing stages, whilst ensuring it remains lively and passionate. Once again that same impressive control of tempo and vigor is apparent, contributing to a captivating listening experience. The last 30 seconds see the previously dense instrumental stripped back to just piano chords, providing a succinct and contrasting close.
These three tracks display a great variety of talents and sounds, from the more experimental “Fields Of Art” to the massively catchy “Soma’s Starting”. This is then coupled with an apparently accomplished knowledge of those intangible factors that make music work, a pairing that combines to produce eclectic, effective indie pop . To see this in such a young group is to hint at a truly exciting prospect for the future that will hopefully see them continuing to produce music imbued with the energy and dexterity apparent in these songs.
A future that we here at HMCMB will certainly hope to keep you updated with!