THE SUNS hail from Brooklyn, NY, and disperse their characterizable grunge/pop melodies with dynamically-changing effects.
Being heavily influenced by some of the best British Invasion era bands, THE SUNS source out influence and inspiration from the likes of both older and contemporary artists. Consisting of members Joe Brennan, Dylan Mandel, Dan Marsh, and Aaron Romero, THE SUNS collectively hone into their raw artistic sides to shine the spotlight on thought-provoking themes with mentally compelling emotions.
THE SUNS recently released its album, 'Big Break,' and following our listen through the entire record; we instantly found a bright theme exposed. Beginning with the first track, "Go Girl Gone", we're met with striking guitar riffs that are powerful enough to keep any rock n' roll listener fixated and inherently compelled. We're struck by the intense flavor given to listeners right from the start, and we're reveling, as well as soaking up the innate power of this track. "Go Girl Gone" was a sufficient first-track for 'Big Break,' and ultimately setting listeners up for an exciting compilation of strangely-familiar and yet completely disparate emotions.
Transitioning to the album's second track, "When You're Not Around", a clear contrast immediately presents itself within various aspects. The track's harmony is much more mellow, and a calming ambiance washes over our listening ears. The tempo is completely slowed down, and a more intimate setting presents itself alongside buoyant melodies. "When You're Not Around" allows for a warm embrace to be captured, and notes of positivity transpire.
The same kind of ambiance is kept consistent within "My Heroine", the following track of THE SUNS album. Except, this track feels more packed with genuine affection. You can sense the pure adoration and truth not only behind the lyricism but ultimately behind the performance of such lyricism. The melody is brought to a harmonious balance, which really allows the listener to hone into each and every word sung. There's a yearning component embedded into the intonation of the vocals, which only adds to the showcased theme of the track (something you'll have to seek and hone into with an open mind, and heart).
Next, we're presented with "Hey Carla", which gives a soft/rock version of the infamous love song, "Hey There Delilah", except with a completely contrasting theme. The track most definitely feels powerfully packed with an expressive perspective on love, and, well, not love? Interpret as you may, but we're seriously picking up a hectically accurate perspective within "Hey Carla".
"Love Lovin' You" carries on with the heartbreak, although sweet moments are presented in various moments, and presented with grace. There's the same yearning effect reflected within this song, and the track really exploits a certain emotive. There's potent anguish combined with confused adoration, which highlights some of the hallmarks of love. A consistently mellow and yet rambunctious beat holds the center of the production, and it becomes increasingly clear that "Love Lovin' You" is a shining track of this album (they all are, but this one shines a bit brighter).
"What Am I To Do?", you can only guess, continues on the ever-present theme of this album. Continuing the chain of revealing authentic aspects of broken hearts, broken love, and yet still having all of the ingredients for it, "What Am I To Do?" maintains its stance on the album's conversation. "I'm bitter and confused", is one of many representative thoughts of such experiences of love, and all in all, the projected energy is what solidifies the complex listening experience. "I love you" is one of the final lyrics, which sets the ultimate tone within the track.
We're getting a similar feel with the final track of THE SUNS album, "Luna". "Luna" shows off to be an endearing song, never wavering in emotionality. "You'll always be my baby", is sung with haunting repetition, displaying the humanistic side of love, and losing such love. The echoing vibrato of the vocals within "Luna" is what elevates the listening experience, and subsequently the emotional effect that's imparted onto each and every listener. And really, that's the delivered effect of the entire album.
'Big Break' proves to be multi-faceted in its approach to showcasing the actualities of losing love, or having love changed, and that in itself is a monstrous topic that is done with absolute justice by THE SUNS.
Listen to THE SUN's album 'Big Break' here.
Hello THE SUNS and welcome to BuzzMusic. 'Big Break' represents many themes, effects, and perspectives. Was the content within this album, as emotionally-driving as it was, acquired from personal experiences?
Joe: This record is a culmination of personal challenges, breakups, and newfound love which have all occurred within the past few years. The album is basically a musical journal of all of these experiences and the songs serve as an expression which has helped me cope with both the despair and celebration.
Dylan: I come from a fairly rock-centric musical background, but playing with THE SUNS compels me to swing a bit more. For years I've mainly been into electronica and jazz, but I grew up listening to lots of grunge (in fact, my first CD was Nevermind) and I remember feeling so moved by the energy of the music. I think there's a nice balance of swung groove and straight-ahead rock on Big Break that captures these influences.
Dan: The songs are non-fiction but I think the themes of the songs are more universal than personal.
What was there a specific track on 'Big Break' that felt more potent compared to others? Was there one track that was more affecting for the band? Joe: Whenever you’re recording, you always have high expectations of some songs and uncertainties of others before it’s all said and done. “When You’re Not Around” was a favorite of mine going into the session and I wasn’t convinced it would translate as well after recording it, but it came out better than I could’ve ever imagined. “My Heroine” is another one that I was very happy with as it’s a song I had written a long time ago and we've recorded various adaptations of it throughout the years. In this version, I feel we really nailed it.
Dylan: Given that we really only had two rehearsals prior to tracking Big Break, I'd say all the tracks are impressively potent considering. However, for me, Hey Carla is the catchiest while Love Lovin' You is the most gratifying.
Dan: I liked playing Luna because I got to use a slide guitar and it was fun to experiment with new instruments.
Can you elaborate on the decision to complete the record remotely? What sparked the decision to do so, and how was that experience?
Joe: Like everyone else, we weren’t expecting to be thrust into a global lockdown! (Un)Fortunately, I traveled to Florida in early March. I had originally planned on being there for a week's vacation, but that week seems to have turned into 8 months! By good fortune, we had already finished recording the main tracks with an incredible engineer Jeff Berner (Studio G) before the hysteria set in. With some deliberation on the next steps, we all decided it was best for me to finish the vocals and some guitar work for the record down here. Basically, I bought the gear I needed and set it up in a tiny room then returned (most of it) after I had finished (shhh). We ended up hiring Mike Purcell of County Q in Nashville to take the reins of mixing and mastering which was a God sent. Thankfully it all worked out for the best.
Dylan: Well, that wasn't the plan initially! We were in Studio G in Brooklyn for a few days, then everything in the city shut down due to the pandemic. I ended up heading to Philadelphia but luckily all of my drum parts/aux percussion had been tracked.
Dan: There was a “virus".
How were you hoping to make your listeners feel and think during the entirety of 'Big Break?' What was the main hope for your listener's interpretation of the tracks?
Joe: Writing is always very personal, but listening is healing. I find solace in many songs by innumerable artists and I can only hope our music helps others muddle through life as much as it has helped us.
Dylan: I hope listeners just enjoy the tunes! Also, there's a lot of heartbreak, so yeah, feel that too.
Dan: I just hope they find something that clicks for them. I think it's a record you can listen to while you're driving or just doing stuff around the house.
What's next with the music of THE SUNS? How are you all expecting future music to ensure, and what kind of clues can you give readers regarding the next execution of music to come?
Joe: I pray we can get together to perform live shows soon, when and if it’s permitted of course. I’ve also been writing a lot with the next record in mind, so hopefully, we can churn another album out in the near future! You can always keep up with us on IG @followingthesuns
Dylan: MORE ROCK. Hopefully, we'll all be in the same room when it happens.
Dan: To just keep building the project, work with new people and ideas, and hopefully put out more songs.