Who loves the Sleepy Sun?

With Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia closing in, treat yourself to an appetiser  in the form of California’s Sleepy Sun… 

In June 2009, Sleepy Sun burst onto the scene with their hazy psyche-strewn debut, Embrace. We were lucky enough to catch them that same year, (having never previously heard of them), at All Tomorrow’s Parties festival, Minehead Butlins holiday camp.

In between more familiar bands, we plumped for them on the strength of one of our number liking their name. It would quickly prove to be one of – if not the – decisions of the weekend, one that certainly defined our memories of the festival.

This band were all sexy intensity, seemingly coming from nowhere to occupy centre-stage of our festival radar. A big part of that on-stage fizz was generated by their diminutive and feisty front-woman. Rachel Fannan however, unfortunately, has subsequently left the band (while touring second album, Fever, in 2010) , so it will be interesting to see how this impacts on their live shows.

On the basis of third long player, Spine Hits, something that hasn’t altered too much is that scorched, blissed-out west-coast sound which has served them so well thus far. Combining classic rock and metal with a somewhat fresher outlook all their own, the five-piece continue to recognise their past whilst bravely looking to forge new paths.

Certainly, it’s not all same-old same-old; there are new influences plundered here (Lou Reed and the Velvets a principle one to listen out for on the woozy and pleasingly languorous Boat Trip), and it’s refreshing to see a band recognising that no matter how well those first shows and tunes were received, as with everything else, to stand still is to die.

Yes, there are still lashings of reverb and acid rock to get your teeth stuck into, with an undercurrent of dirty blues for good measure, but Sleepy Sun are no closer to tipping us the wink as to which way they’ll go next; and three records in – Fannan’s departure aside – the band show no signs of letting up, either in their prolific output or in their ability to thrill.

At a time when old-skool rock ‘n’ roll seems back on the charge – the derivative Alabama Shakes and White Denim to name but two examples off the top of our heads – it would be a shame to let a band so intent on adding a frisson of their own to the brew to pass you by.

Sleepy Sun 11th September 7.30pm @ The Kazimier £10, supported by Aviator and Eva Peterson

Posted on 30/08/2012 by thedoublenegative