As the human race keeps pushing towards a completely digital age, it is no longer a novel idea to rely on our computers for musical inspiration. Take Animal Collective, and countless others that have delved into the seemingly bottomless pit of electronic sounds. However, there is a definite difference between dabbling into the realm of electronic alternative pop and diving too far into the deep end of noise. With Nocturne of Exploding Crystal Chandelier, these two gentlemen skate this fine line as though tightrope walkers.
The album starts out with “Infinity,” which, to my dismay, is a bit of a redundant dud when pitted against the rest of the songs. However, if you look past the first song and onto the second, “American West,” you can see what this band has to offer. Coat upon coat of electronic fizzle combine with a slightly cloudy vocal to produce a song that is filled with noise, but allows for a ton of variation in said noise so that the listener doesn’t tire of the same drone, but becomes interested in the complexity of the song. This is where I feel Sun Airway failed in choosing an opening song for their debut; shouldn’t the first song grab my attention and make me ask for more?
Next the band travels farther into the bliss pop genre with “Swallowed By The Night,” which is a change from the first three songs, in that it is devoid of the buzz and fast pace. Instead, this song focuses on the sweeping qualities in the vocal, which are sprawled in some parts, and then pulled back to their robotic precision. From this, the song gains an emotional dimension and allows you to feel like you are standing alone with the night sky, engulfed by its vast darkness and captured by the millions of twinkling stars.
And so Sun Airway continues with their neo psychedelic pop, alternating between faster, less human songs, and the softer, easier to emotionally read beats. A song that stands out strongly is “Your Moon.” The delicate vocals break into a downright outburst of longing when the chorus sounds clearly: “I just wanted to be your moon/ alone in your night sky.” This song truly encompasses the delicacy that this group angled for in their nod to Chopin’s Nocturnes. Like Chopin’s music, this band is soft when it needs to be, yet juxtaposed with sharpness that makes for a really pleasurable listening experience.
As far as first albums go, Sun Airway do an excellent job in showing their distinct sound, without growing too hollow or redundant, as electronic beats tend to. For this, I commend them and look forward to their next work.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/03-Oh-Naoko-1.mp3]
Download: Sun Airway – Oh, Naoko [MP3]