Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sleepy Sun - "Maui Tears" (Dine Alone 2014)



Dine Alone Records 2014

Sleepy Sun has been making some pretty big sounds lately.  the san francisco-based psych group has been around for a while now, experimenting with different sounds and line-ups, but they made their most focused and boldest creative statement yet with their fourth album Maui Tears, released in jaunuary.  this sounds like a band pushing off into something truly special.

the album's lead off track, "The Lane," caught my attention immediately, sounding like Soundgarden at their most transcendental moment mixed with Ok Computer-era Radiohead, with a heafty dose of that great old shoegazer stuff like Swervedriver.  pretty fucking bold, especially when it is pulled off so successfully.  the video is properly epic as well.

the entire album is pretty great... a lush variety of styles, from a roar to a performances throughout... beautifully recorded... and a masterful mix that weaves a perfectly balanced mesh of sound.  but the record reaches for an even higher level with the final three tracks.

the dreamy "Slowdown" eases into things with calming waves of guitar and voice...  droning synth layered far into the background.  your pulse slows, your muscles relax, and your feet momentarily leave the ground. 

the dreaminess is broken wide open with "Galaxy Punk," a goosebump-raising, sun drenched summertime anthem.  the hooks imbed themselves immediately, sticking straight into your brain, and the guitars are so fucking HUGE that you can feel the wind in your hair.

it is obvious that Sleepy Sun is not messing around here, this is some seriously great music.  but they rise up even higher with the 10 1/2 minute title track.  "Maui Tears" confidently steps up to the OK Computer/Pink Floyd "Echoes" level, and convincingly pulls it off.  a pretty impressive feat.  top shelf stuff here, people.

 Maui Tears is a monolithic statement from a band that seems to be entering it's prime.  i have heard great things about their live performances and am eager to see them at this year's Austin Psych Fest.  if their onstage show is as anywhere near as good as their recent studio work, they might find themselves in an entirely different level of the stratosphere soon.  it will be interesting to see where they go from here.

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