Monday, 1 September 2014

A Sunny Day In Glasgow ''Sea When Absent'' - A Review

Since their formation in 2006 A Sunny Day In Glasgow have undergone several line up changes with frontman Ben Daniels remaining the sole constant member of the group, but one consistent element of the band's existence has been their critical acclaim, stemming all the way back to early favorable reviews from their beginnings with The Sunniest Day Ever EP and debut album Scribble Mural Comic Journal. Sea When Absent marks the band's 4th full length release and it presents a band at the height of their powers, weaving together 11 majestic synth based pop tracks into a serious contender for the best album of 2014 so far.

The album blasts into life on ''Bye Bye Big Ocean'' with a bombastic intro the like of which Steve Albini would be proud of as a heavy chorus of guitars almost drown out the lead vocal, making for a shoegaze feel that permeates the remainder of the album but perhaps not quite so ferociously as this opening number. The aforementioned shoegaze style comes in much softer fashion over the rest of the tracks, delivering a series of dream pop tracks early on that make for undoubted highlights such as ''Crushin'', a delicate trip that showcases the beautiful vocal work of the band's female vocalists Annie Fredrickson and Jen Goma before the tracks erupts at its end with a killer guitar solo, and ''MTLOV'', a feverishly catchy pop ballad that will swallow you whole with its earnestness and heartfelt delivery.

It's difficult to categorize A Sunny Day as any one particular style of band in general, mainly because of the impressive number of genres they manage to meld into one over the course of the album. The relatively straightforward indie rock tracks like ''In Love With Useless'' and ''The Things They Do To Me'' suggest influences like Broken Social Scene, while the anthemic, festival friendly sound of ''Initiation Rites'', ''The Body, It Bends'' and closer ''Golden Waves'' carry hints of The Arcade Fire and in between all of this the lingering presence of My Bloody Valentine is spread throughout, but in truth to compare A Sunny Day to these acts is a fruitless exercise as the band have single handedly created their own truly unique style through all the flawless genre bending on display here.

And that's where the beauty of Sea When Absent lies after its conclusion- it feels like the band have tapped into such a wide range of genres in order to procure their niche style, but the wonderful skill and focus with which the group execute these combinations makes for an effortlessly accessible sound that any fan of indie rock, pop and electro music will want to hear on repeat. This is an album that will engage both casual and dedicated listeners of music and it deserves to be heard by everyone with the faintest interest in modern music. By the end of the year, it will most certainly be listened to by many more as it finds itself a fighting contender for one of 2014's best albums.


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