Thanks for listening, and thanks again for having us, ATH. 2020 was rubbish in so many ways, but at least we made a lot of stuff, and were able to make some good plans for 2021. We hope you have a great holiday and that we get to see you in real life next year.
Finally, here is the latest video from European Sun, a Christmas card for your digital mantelpiece. Rob, Amelia x
After a period of gestation that lasted several decades (Rob and Steve have been friends since they were 14), we made an album as European Sun. We were just finishing the album as we first went into lockdown. This was the first time the two of us had arranged and produced a set of someone elses songs, but Steve was very trusting. He is still talking to us, and WIAIWYA were happy to put the album out, so it clearly wasnt a disaster.
In the summer, during one of those periods when it was ok to meet up with friends, we all went to our local seaside town, Hastings, for the day. We admired the sea, ate chips and made a video for Favourite Day, one of the singles off the album. Rob decided he wanted to make a set of European Sun videos that would, over time, become a collection of cards that could be put on a digital mantelpiece. This is the first: a seaside picture postcard.
Thanks for having us ATH. Its a real honour to be allowed to take over the hall for a day! Our home – in rural Kent, England – is a long way from Texas, and we haven’t left it very often for the past few months, so its exciting to go on a long journey and hang out with you in Austin.
2020 has been a strange old year, and a terrible one for many people. Like everyone else, weve spent much of it in lockdowns of one sort or another. We’ve been pretty lucky compared to many. The worst of it for us is that we’ve not been able to play live shows. On the upside, being stuck at home has meant we’ve had the time to create lots of new things. So we thought wed take a look back on our 2020 the stuff we made, and a few things weve enjoyed listening to.
It’s been a crazy year, and a depressing year, so perhaps we all retreated more into our record collections to seek out that fleeting joy. On my end, I spent a lot of time running/walking in the ‘burbs, so these are the records that played the most in my life…thus they are my Favorite Albums of 2020. The validity means little to anyone other than myself, but since you stop by, perhaps come by and check out my list!
And, just an FYI…there are 30 bands, and I linked back to Bandcamp pages so you can buy directly from the artists…except that one band because apparently they’re too cool…even though that album rips.
One of the great thing about the vinyl resurgence has been the reemergence of hard to find gems through various reissues. If you’re like me, and a Sarah Records fan, those original hits can be hard to find, and if found, quite pricy! But, thanks to Damaged Goods, we’re all being gifted the deserved compilation treatment for Heavenly; they’ve organized all the singles for A Bout De Heavenly: The Singles. Now, we could go on and on and rave about the band’s signature sound, trace lineage back to Talulah Gosh or move forward to current projects like Catenary Wires/European Sun…but don’t you just want to hear Amelia sing? I love how her voice soars over that jangling jittery guitar as everything falls into messy pop euphoria for the chorus. We all deserve such great pop music. This never before seen video has just recently been digitized from Super 8 footage Rob had.
He had this to say about the video: “This video has never been made public before. We didnt like it at the time, but now I think its the best one. I only had a couple of rolls of Super 8, which is one of the reasons its in slow motion: I had to make a little go a long way! I love the footage of Mathew in this video, though the fact that he is clearly so happy in it makes it a bit hard to watch.”
A few weeks ago when I got to chat with European Sun, Rob informed me that he and Amelia were working on a new project with Hue from Pooh Sticks named Swansea Sound. Well, they’ve unleashed their first 2 track single into the world, and I wanted to make sure that these two tunes were on your listening rotation before this week gets carried away. Despite the trio’s penchant for melody, there’s a slightly heavier feel to Swansea Sound; the riffs have less jangle and a harder edge, giving a little bit of attitude to these tunes. “Corporate Indie Band” has this big pop rock feel to it, while the trio seem to mock the formulaic style of modern rock n’ roll. With “Angry Girl,” you almost get a punchier Britpop feel, though I was particularly infatuated with the little shift around the 1:23 mark. If you dig it, there’s a limited edition cassette courtesy of Lavender Sweep!
A little over a week ago European Sun released their self-titled LP on one of my favorite labels WIAIWYA. But, despite being a relatively new band, the pedigree of the members is really special for all the indiepop fans (Heavenly, Talulah Gosh, Short Stories)…enough heavy-hitters to pique your interest I would reckon. We caught up with the bunch via email to chat a bit and a recipe for “Steve’s Daal.” Click on below for a great read…and be sure to listen to the entirety of the self-titled LP.
Those of you that fawning for indiepop are most assuredly going to enjoy the debut LP from European Sun. The band’s line-up alone is enough to make fans swoon, with members that have a pedigree from the the likes of the Short Stories, Heavenly, the Catenary Wires…among others. Today, we’re really happy to bring you this summery pop ditty, in hopes that you’re able to make today your “favorite day.” Steve and Amelia trade vocals to a charming effect; they offer slightly different tones, melding their melodies in some sugary swirl that sticks inside your head. For me, the juxtaposed guitar sounds definitely put a skip in my step, adding a grin to my day. The video is set up like a spectacular post card with ocean views, featuring Amelia on an ice cream cone and Steve munching some chips. This song appears on the group’s self-titled debut, out on September 11th via WIAIWYA.
Thirty years on collecting music as a hobby, and I’m still pretty into following labels. For me, WIAIWYA is one of the premiere indie labels out there, not only because I love most of the stuff they put out, but because, like my own label, I like the diversity. Sure, you can pigeonhole certain aspects, but I feel like the label has a really long arm when it comes to describing their sound. Take, for instance, two forthcoming releases, from Sea Glass and European Sun. Sea Glass seems to have this spectral quality, particularly in the way the vocals overlap time and time again; there’s also this alliteration affect that has the habit of ensnaring the listener. On the other hand, you get European Sun has sort of this Ian Dury/TV Personalities feel, particularly in the playfulness of the lyrics. The Sea Glass album Shifts is out on 8/14, with the self-titled European Sun LP dropping on 9/11. At the very least, enjoy these songs, then go dig deeper into the extensive catalogue.