You know, some folks might say that as a music writer, I’m not supposed to play favourites with sounds or genres, that it might hinder my ability to scribble down objective thoughts about music. It’s like picking a favourite kid or being a restaurant critic who’s only got eyes for cheeseburgers. But if I were to pick, I’d reckon I’ve got a soft spot for music that straddles the crossroads of pop and rock, made in a place where melody meets muscle, where you’ve got drift and drive working together, and where the hallucinogenic haze brushes up against the harsh realities of life. And it just so happens that’s where you’ll find The Suncharms, a band whipping up a sonic storm somewhere between pop and a hard place.
Their latest offering, “Things Lost ,” sees them doing what they do best. Right from the get-go, the opening number, in both senses of the word, “3.45,” lays it all out. You’ve got slightly angular guitar lines dancing with walls of copious six-string swagger; all wrapped up in a cinematic haze. A delicate motif weaves its way through, the bass and the beat doing their part to serve the song, while those soft-edged vocals complete the picture. It’s a glorious introduction, painting a perfect sonic portrait of the band’s signature style.
The title track meanders along a path paved with tumbling drums and fluid, hypnotic riffs. It’s the very essence of ambient indie, a journey into a lucid dreamland. “Daylight is Here” offers a spacious and more restrained soundscape, momentarily stripping away the lush, widescreen sonics to reveal the band’s core essence, and it’s nothing short of wonderful.
“Dark Sails” takes you on a sumptuous ride, elevating their already lysergic, slightly mind-bending cocoon of sound to greater heights, depths, and dimensions. And just to sweeten the deal, they throw in some angelic vocals to put the icing on the cake. The journey wraps up with the more sprightly “Last Tram,” a tune that serves as a reminder that The Lilac Time could’ve been an extraordinary dream pop outfit if they’d ventured a bit further down that path.
The Suncharms are everything I love – expansive and exceptional tunes meticulously crafted and flawlessly delivered, all wrapped up in a sound that swirls and envelops you in lush soundscapes and a dreamlike, drug-induced haze. I’m tellin’ ya, don’t just check out The Suncharms back catalogue; dive into their label too, Sunday Records, a veritable fortress of dream-pop, lush indie, and cinematic music. Seriously, don’t waste another second; go ahead and take that plunge.