Music Reviews

Sun June Somewhere

(Run for Cover) Rating - 7/10

It’s become a rare instance for background music to also be engaging. When it comes to dream pop, it’s easy for albums to slink off into the distance, only to be noticed when someone decides to put on something a little more lively at a party. Plenty of these artists aren’t necessarily bad, it’s more that they feel like the sonic form of a napkin—completely plain, utilitarian, and without any identifying features. On the Austin, TX band Sun June’s sophomore album, it’s clear that they’ve decided to go beyond what we expect of this sort of indie pop. The atmosphere is here, and so are the faded synths and clean electric guitars, but there’s a clear sense of location to these songs that are rare for an album like Somewhere.

Led by multi-instrumentalist Laura Colwell, Sun June aren’t new to this effervescent, airy style. Throughout their debut, 2018’s Years, they begin the development of their “regret pop,” a band term coined to describe their gorgeous, minimalist aesthetic. And while Years is pleasant enough, with Somewhere, there’s more of a palpable milieu to these songs that pushes it from good to great. The single Karen O starts forgettably, but the closing line of “I don’t want to leave Manhattan, so I climb the stairs to your apartment” builds an unforgettable achingness, as if you’re ascending those steps right beside Colwell. The lines “I don’t want to fight, I just want to drive home” become a mantra towards the end of Singing, the album’s best song, all of which is underlined by warm instrumentation and crystal clear production.

In a recent interview, Sun June explained this as their “prom album,” a memento of the intense emotions that come with being twentysomething and in love. If that’s what Sun June set out to achieve, Somewhere succeeds perfectly, giving us a steady depiction of what it’s like to be young and uncertain.