August 8, 2016

Music Monday // Indie Spotlight On... Bad Suns

Bad Suns, a four-piece hailing from the west coast, got together in 2012 and released their first EP, Transpose, in 2014, which features their biggest hit to date, "Cardiac Arrest." Since then, they've released their first full-length, Language and Perspective, and, most recently, dropped single "Disappear Here," a track off of their upcoming second album by the same name, due out next month. The band has also hinted on social media at an upcoming tour. The band's influences include such post-punk, new wave icons as The Cure, The Clash, and Elvis Costello, and their sound and style might be likened to modern-day acts such as Night Riots and Magic Man.

In the last year, neo-new wave Bad Suns have headlined a small U.S. tour, opened for The Neighbourhood and Halsey on their respective U.S. tours, and are scheduled to perform at ACL Music Festival in Austin in October. In 2014, they toured with big-name alternative act The 1975 and Danish group New Politics, and in 2015, performed at both Coachella and Firefly. Despite these musical associations, and even after "Cardiac Arrest" took the #26 slot on Sirius XM's Alt Nation's list of the top alt rock tracks of 2014, they're still flying under the radar. In fact, it took some time for the band to gain any momentum at all. They apparently did not intend to make it any farther than dropping their first single, but they still kept the idea of a cohesive LP at the center of everything.

"Let’s just make a record that from start to finish... each song is just as strong or strong[er] than the one that precedes it and is just an album that is worth listening to," vocalist Christo Bowman told HuffPost Entertainment in 2014. As for the music itself, some tracks off of Language and Perspective are not easily forgotten. "Rearview," with its catchy riffs and beat, is about "losing your control," running away from problems and trying to fill the hole you've now found in your life. "Dancing on Quicksand" starts out just like an 80s new wave hit would before launching into an upbeat, but angsty, chorus. "Salt" is another especially notable song; it manages to be both chill and groovy (excuse the lame word, but listen to it and tell me that doesn't work in this context) at the same time. Overall, the album is an interesting pairing of vibey, new wave sounds with darker, angsty lyrics. Last month's single "Disappear Here," fans' first taste of new music since 2014, keeps true to Bad Sun's original sound, yet it's somehow different. The vocals seem clearer, and if L&P puts a sound to the color red, Disappear Here puts a sound to the color blue (yes, music-color connections are a thing). Maybe it's subliminal in this case, what with the album art being, respectively, red and blue, but Bad Suns is sure to keep listeners seeing colors.

*If you're reading this footnote: hey, thanks! I just wanted to give some background on this post. Last year I contributed to an online music magazine for a few months. Every other week or so, I would write a review or two on new tracks or albums by up-and-coming indie bands/artists. Unfortunately, things got in the way, and I didn't make this side project a priority like I should have and fell out of touch with the editor. That being said, I started blogging again to write about everything I want to write about, especially music. I've done a few concert reviews on here, but I don't always have a concert to write about, so the last few Music Mondays have all been playlists. Playlists are all well and good, but I really love and miss writing reviews. Thus, today's post! Expect more of these on future Music Mondays :)

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