Sunfields - MONO MONO (Exit Sign Music, 2017)
With three albums under their belts, Sunfields is not new to the game, and to that end, not a single of their albums come off sounding the same at all, though with MONO MONO being perhaps the most lucid and enchanting, filled with a rootsy sound that blends the flavors of alternative country when they kick into a groove with songs that blossom with a richness right before your ears … and while I hesitate to make comparisons, Sunfields certainly bring to mind the early material of Neil Young, along with Wilco’s less aggressive numbers.
Other people are going to suggest that there is a certain element of acid laced pop roaming throughout all of their albums, and depending upon your take on that term, it might just be true. Finding the first half of the album to be a warm hazily washed series of songs filled with great hooks vocals and harmonies backed by floating guitar work, suitable for when the big ol’ orange moon comes knockin’ at your backdoor, arms flung wide, inviting you to venture out under the Milky Way and embrace these excellent sounds in a more spacious environment. That being said, I’ve kept but six of the eleven tracks, even letting go of their George Harrison-ish song “All My Life”, which as with the other tracks I let slide, as they just didn’t seem to embrace my soul with a sense of honesty … but then, for the most part, when it comes to this sort of music I tend to gravitate to that which keeps me delightfully shrouded and couch-bound.
The same thing happened to me with their album Palace In The Sun, where I kept but two numbers, “The Only One” and “Skin & Bones”, and then when I considered their initial outing Habitat, [which was highly acclaimed, there were also but two songs that caught my attention, those being “Ghost” and “Drunken Choir”, tracks that were anything but drunken or lazy, they were both intoxicatingly hazy and well constructed, as were all of the songs that I’ve favored.
It saddens me to find such great material can not be sustained, because I was certainly raptured with all I connected with and deeply wished for more … though with that in mind, I’m sure that there may be others who find the music I’ve not kept to suit their beings to a tee, and bring great joy into their lives.
- Jenell Kesler
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