Just out yesterday, the multi-city band A Sunny Day in Glasgow have released quite possibly the album for the summer with Sea When Absent. While it is difficult to pin down exactly the sound or genre of ASDIG, Sea When Absent is reminiscent of Broken Social Scene’s last couple of albums, most notably Foregiveness Rock Record, and the synth-pop-rock of New Zealand’s The Naked and Famous.
Like the aforementioned bands, ASDIG’s music is complex and layered with lush synths and keys, shimmering guitars, hallowing basslines, and the haunting twin voices of Annie Fredrickson and Jen Goma. As a result, Sea When Absent is dreamy and deliciously gorgeous indie pop at times. It bursts with synth-pop and ambient textures. It’s danceable and groovy. It reverberates with shoegaze and a touch of rock.
The opening track, “Bye Bye, Big Ocean (The End)”, starts off with fuzz guitars and elongated keys and synths before settling into a synth-pop tune. “The Things They Do to Me” adopts a similar approach but with a heavier, pounding bassline, which is upfront and centre on this stirring track. The song also comes close to being proggy but never goes over that cliff (fortunately!).
“Crushin'” is the lone, melodic song on the entire album. It is cool, vibrant, and intoxicating. It echos as the love child of Broken Social Scene’s “Sweetest Kill” and “All to All”. Meanwhile, “In Love with the Useless (The Timeless Geometry in the Tradition)” has a HAIM-esque quality, but more expansive and stirring. Listening to this tune may make you feel like you’re running in a maze or walking on air. “MTLOV (Minor Keys)” is the song most reflective of the anthemic, synth-pop of The Naked and Famous, and it likely will leave a permanent smile on your face.
“Boys Turn into Girls (Initiation Rites)” is a bit more staggered in its approach, especially at the beginning, but then erupts in the second half with the shimmering sounds of the electric guitar. “The Body it Bends” and the closing track, “Eminent Love”, have 80s pop qualities, but they are both fantastic, groovy dream-pop tunes. The latter, in particular, is brilliant with not just the multiple textures but the melody and rhythm shifts. It exemplifies the potential and excellence of dream pop.
With their fourth studio LP, A Sunny Day in Glasgow have written a fabulous, memorable album. Despite the complexity of the songs with the varied sounds, intonations, and layers, the band never wavers too close to the edge where it could lose its listener. Instead, it is able to rein it all in at just the right moment to captivate the listener once again. Throughout 12-track, 51-minute album, Sea When Absent is a breathtaking ride, taking you places that you might only read in books or see in the movies. It is not simply just dream-pop – it is something otherworldy, escapism at its finest.
Sea When Absent can be purchased on iTunes, Amazon, and eMusic. A Sunny Day in Glasgow consists of Ben Daniels, Josh Meakim, Annie Fredrickson, Jen Goma, Ryan Newmyer, and Adam Herndon, who reside in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and Sydney, Australia and wrote the album over extended chat sessions and email. The distance apart makes this album an even more impressive accomplishment.
The band will embark on a cross-continental tour in July. Tour dates (with links to purchase tickets) are below.
July 3rd – Boston, MA @ Great Scott (w/ Sneeze, Catenine) [tickets]
July 6th – Washington, DC @ DC9 (w/ Cigarette) [tickets]
July 7th – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Café (w/ Ponydiver, Butterbirds) [tickets]
July 8th – Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle (w/ Light Foils, StarTropics) [tickets]
July 9th – Minneapolis, MN @ Icehouse (w/ Field Trip) [tickets]
July 11th – Spokane, WA @ The Bartlett (w/ Ages and Ages) [tickets]
July 12th – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile Back Bar (w/ Oh! Pears) [tickets]
July 13th – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios (w/ Golden Retriever, Tender Age) [tickets]
July 15th – San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern (w/ Cruel Summer, Swiftumz) [tickets]
July 16th – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theatre (w/ Roses, United Ghosts) [tickets]
July 17th – Tempe, AZ @ Last Exit (w/ LARKSPURS) [tickets]
July 19th – Kansas City, MO @ Czar Bar [tickets]
July 20th – Fort Worth, TX @ Lola’s Saloon (w/ Animal Spirit) [tickets]
July 21st – Austin, TX @ Mohawk [tickets]
July 22nd – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa (w/ Cardinal Sons) [tickets]
July 23rd – Athens, GA @ Caledonia Lounge (w/ Haints)
July 24th – Charlotte, NC @ Recess Fest at Snug Harbor (w/ Spirit System) [tickets]
July 25th – Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery (w/ Thrushes, Yumi Zouma) [tickets]
July 26th – Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right (w/ Ice Choir, Jason Bartell) [tickets]
July 27th – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s (w/ Pattern Is Movement, Myrrias) [tickets]
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