Sun June - Somewhere Music Album Reviews

Sun June - Somewhere Music Album Reviews
The indie pop group’s second album is filled with longing for vanished times and spaces. It explores what happens when daydreaming becomes both playground and prison.

The songs on Sun June’s second album, Somewhere, are full of elsewheres. Lead vocalist Laura Colwell namedrops Manhattan, Los Angeles, and New Orleans—everywhere but the indie pop group’s home base of Austin—as memories and fantasies, but as she admits on first single “Everything I Had,” she’s still in an apartment just three doors down from her old one. In “Karen O,” a young man in an expensive suit impersonates Bob Dylan in a Brooklyn basement, and in the opening track "Bad With Time,” Colwell promises to be Jackie O, Patti Smith, and Stevie Nicks, all to convince a lover not to move to L.A. Her songs might be full of pretending, but no one is ever fooled, least of all the pretenders themselves.
But isn’t it nice to pretend? More pressingly, once you give up on pretending, what are you left with? Sun June finds comfort in these delusions, which are couched in appropriately soft, cloudy pop. Colwell sings almost everything at the top of her range, so that every word sounds barely constricted with emotion, barely squeaked out. In the penultimate track, Colwell finally exhales, repeating a call-and-response refrain: “Are you the real thing?” The chords resolve and she arrives: “I’m the real thing. I’ll be all right.”

At various points on Somewhere, Sun June adopt country-western tropes, maybe to play up the themes of dislocation. Like a costume put together with what they already had at home, it serves them well enough to get their point across: reverb consoles allow guitar chords to sound like they’re gliding through open windows and fading out slow, and Colwell trills with Patsy Cline-ish melodrama. No matter how often you may dream about being other places or people, you’re never quite where, or who, you want to be.

These affectations represent the biggest risks taken on Somewhere. These textures–solemn, guitars, barely-there synth pads–may read as pat, even self-indulgent, but for better or worse, this isn’t an album interested in exploring fresh territory. Sun June are interested in daydreams as both playground and prison, and about observing what happens when you collide with the borders of your own interiority. But even in this cloudy, circumscribed world of echoing instruments, where faking and fiction are not only indulged, but necessary, Sun June’s sincerity shines through. “Everything I Had,” for its part, might be the first successful transmutation of quarantined loneliness into an anthem: “Everything I had, I want it back.” Tell me about it. The song’s chorus is ultimately an expression of futility and regret; the past is gone for good. Sun June yield to these fantasies, letting imagination shroud reality for a spell, but its face always shows through eventually.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

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Sun June - Somewhere Music Album Reviews Sun June - Somewhere Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, February 05, 2021 Rating: 5

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