Sun June in Leeds
Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
Saturday 15th January 2022, £10.00
Somewhere is Sun June at their most decadent, a richly diverse album which sees them exploring bright new corners with full hearts and wide eyes. Embracing a more pop-oriented sound the album consists of eleven beautiful new songs and is deliberately more collaborative and fully arranged: Laura played guitar for the first time; band members swapped instruments, and producer Danny Reisch helped flesh out layers of synth and percussion that provides a sweeping undercurrent to the whole thing.
Throughout Somewhere you can hear Sun June blossom into a living-and-breathing five-piece, the album formed from an exploratory track building process which results in a more formidable version of the band we once knew. Real Thing is most indicative of this, a fully collaborative effort which encompasses all of the nuances that come to define the album. Are you the real thing? Laura Colwell questions in the songs repeated refrain. Honey Im the real thing, she answers back.
Theyve called this one their prom record; a sincere, alive-in-the-moment snapshot of the heady rush of love. The prom idea started as a mood for us to arrange and shape the music to, which we hadnt done before, the band explains. Prom isnt all rosy and perfect. The songs show you the crying in the bathroom, the fear of dancing, the joy of a kiss - all the highs and all the lows.
Its in both those highs and lows where Somewhere comes alive. Laura Colwells voice is mesmerizing throughout, and while the record is a document of falling in love, theres still room for her to wilt and linger, the vibrancy of the production creating beautiful contrasts for her voice to pull us through. Opening track Bad With Time sets this tone from the outset, both dark and mysterious, sad and sultry as it fascinatingly unrolls. "I didnt mean what I said, Colwell sings. But I wanted you to think I did.
Somewhere showcases a gentle but eminently pronounced maturation of Sun Junes sound, a second record full of quiet revelation, eleven songs that bristle with love and longing. It finds a band at the height of their collective potency, a marked stride forward from the band that created that debut record, but also one that once again is able to transport the listener into a fascinating new landscape, one that lies somewhere between the town and the city, between the head and the heart; neither here nor there, but certainly somewhere.
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