Release Date: Feb 5, 2021
Record label: Run for Cover Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock
Where debut 'Years' was country-inspired and steeped in nostalgic melancholy, Sun June's second feels quietly hopeful; much more interested in the here and now than what ifs and what could have beens. Indeed, where previously there was an ever-present sense of yearning, here it's replaced by a buoyant optimism, something which in turn stems from founding members Laura Colwell and Stephen Salisbury becoming a couple between albums. Buoyed by newfound feelings of hope and of anticipation, the record feels more encompassing than anything the band have released previously.
It's become a rare instance for background music to also be engaging. When it comes to dream pop, it's easy for albums to slink off into the distance, only to be noticed when someone decides to put on something a little more lively at a party. Plenty of these artists aren't necessarily bad, it's more that they feel like the sonic form of a napkin—completely plain, utilitarian, and without any identifying features.
With the feather-light vocals, sustained keyboard hum, and unadorned kick drum that open Somewhere, Sun June seem to pick up right where their stark and gentle 2018 debut, Years, left off. As it progresses, however, the sophomore album ventures into more-fully arranged, five-piece territory -- potentially six with the touches of synths and percussion by producer Danny Reisch -- a benchmark that wasn't reached on a debut recorded while some members were still learning their instruments. The group was started by two film crew members in Austin in 2017, including pensive singer Laura Colwell, who plays guitar here for the first time.
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.