Phoenix band Sun System have a brand of indie Dreampop that is catchy and clean, with a slight resemblance to the likes of Chicago’s Shoegaze juggernaut Airiel, as well as nods to other more hybrid bands such as the painfully missed Depreciation Guild. While listening I also hear a bit of a mainstream alternative rock vibe to the timing and structure, drawing a clear conclusion in my mind while listening “This really reminds me of Mute Math.”
With a resounding pop sensibility to the song structure, this release may have bigger things in their future, as it could easily slide into more accessible Indie or college radio territory. The introductory track on this EP; “Smiles with no Teeth” is a shimmering, layered piece that contrasts with lyrics such as “Couldn’t believe that the world had gone to hell.” The take home message here is that we can overcome the turmoil of the world that we are in, but we have to actively do so and fight for it. “Glimmer Man” has a longing feel to it underlying with lyrics that beg the question “Ooohh, did I ever need you?” that again pairs well with distortion and harmonic dissonance that all is still very tightly and controlled, giving it a much more palatable feel that some of the contemporaries in the genre that can be a little looser and experimental sounding. This is by no means a negative asset, but depends on the listener as to the preference. “Alone together” is the ballad of the set of songs and really highlights lead singer Corey’s voice. He croons “I can’t remember if my last regret was you…” and you feel the ache in his words. The final track is a bit different, and it almost sounds like if alternative rock band Incubus were to actively try to make a Shoegaze inspired song. The mainstream, aforementioned clean sound that treads this whole offering is strongest here.
In closing, some Shoegaze fans with a preference for less controlled chaos, more free from noise, and muffled lyrics may not love this offering; but for those who like cleaner versions of the Shoegaze and Dreampop genre will enjoy the structure and songwriting offered by Sun System. It’s straight forward lyrics and content will be enjoyed by those who look for songs that explore heartfelt human sentiments in a bright, fuzzy box.