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A Sunny Day in Glasgow





The Deli Philly's August Record of the Month: Sea When Absent - A Sunny Day in Glasgow

Sea When Absent (Lefse Records) opens like a shoegaze-y car crash. The latest album from A Sunny Day in Glasgow doesn’t bother gradually layering melodic elements; they get right to business from millisecond one, hitting you with reverberating electronic tones, orchestral violins, and the crooning vocals of Jen Goma and Annie Fredrickson. It’s a weirdly aggressive move for such an intensely soulful LP, but it’s pretty emblematic of how the record works as a whole. For an album as focused at creating moments of subtle beauty, Sea When Absent doesn’t have the time to let you gradually pick up on it on your own. A Sunny Day in Glasgow is the rare type of band that takes beauty and emotional resonances and waves it around like a chair in a bar fight.
 
In the strictest possible sense, this is a shoegaze-psychedelic-electronica album with a particular emphasis on vocals. But the more you listen; the more you start to discover what a diverse series of musical influences are rattling around in there. Mixing the electronica stylings of Flying Lotus and Saltillo with the indie-pop elements of bands like Death Cab and Phantogram, the basis is a percussion of grungy electronic tones, topped with a combination of guitar and synth, adding just the right balance, while being mixed in with a cavalcade of classical instruments and outlandish effects.
 
But the crown jewel of the album is Goma and Fredrickson’s understatedly gorgeous vocals. They play off, sometimes bizarre, instrumentations perfectly, complimenting them while also adding a fulcrum of relative normalcy to Sunny Day’s outside-the-box compositions. This is what really gives the album its sense of slick melancholy, creating an ambience of stylish vulnerability in tracks like “Byebye Big Ocean (The End),” where there is a sense of crooning sorrow, while “Oh I’m A Wrecker” sees them go much farther into the indie-pop paradigm.
 
While this record maintains the complexity and delightful weirdness of past A Sunny Day in Glasgow albums, it also comes with a newfound sense of clarity, in great part due to the outside production of Jeff Zeigler (of The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile fame). Zeigler is able to successfully piece together the moving parts of this bi-continental band, with mastermind Ben Daniels orchestrating things from the other side of the world in Australia, making the album’s abrupt left turns from spacey psychedelics to grounded punk-pop a little easier to digest. The wealth of ideas rarely feels busy or forced. Sea When Absent is ultimately proof that weird doesn’t necessarily have to mean messy.

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August 2014
A Sunny Day in Glasgow
"Sea When Absent
"
mp3
Sea When Absent (Lefse Records) opens like a shoegaze-y car crash. The latest album from A Sunny Day in Glasgow doesn’t bother gradually layering melodic elements; they get right to business from millisecond one, hitting you with reverberating electronic tones, orchestral violins, and the crooning vocals of Jen Goma and Annie Fredrickson. It’s a weirdly aggressive move for such an intensely soulful LP, but it’s pretty emblematic of how the record works as a whole. For an album as focused at creating moments of subtle beauty, Sea When Absent doesn’t have the time to let you gradually pick up on it on your own. A Sunny Day in Glasgow is the rare type of band that takes beauty and emotional resonances and waves it around like a chair in a bar fight.
 
In the strictest possible sense, this is a shoegaze-psychedelic-electronica album with a particular emphasis on vocals. But the more you listen; the more you start to discover what a diverse series of musical influences are rattling around in there. Mixing the electronica stylings of Flying Lotus and Saltillo with the indie-pop elements of bands like Death Cab and Phantogram, the basis is a percussion of grungy electronic tones, topped with a combination of guitar and synth, adding just the right balance, while being mixed in with a cavalcade of classical instruments and outlandish effects.
 
But the crown jewel of the album is Goma and Fredrickson’s understatedly gorgeous vocals. They play off, sometimes bizarre, instrumentations perfectly, complimenting them while also adding a fulcrum of relative normalcy to Sunny Day’s outside-the-box compositions. This is what really gives the album its sense of slick melancholy, creating an ambience of stylish vulnerability in tracks like “Byebye Big Ocean (The End),” where there is a sense of crooning sorrow, while “Oh I’m A Wrecker” sees them go much farther into the indie-pop paradigm.
 
While this record maintains the complexity and delightful weirdness of past A Sunny Day in Glasgow albums, it also comes with a newfound sense of clarity, in great part due to the outside production of Jeff Zeigler (of The War on Drugs and Kurt Vile fame). Zeigler is able to successfully piece together the moving parts of this bi-continental band, with mastermind Ben Daniels orchestrating things from the other side of the world in Australia, making the album’s abrupt left turns from spacey psychedelics to grounded punk-pop a little easier to digest. The wealth of ideas rarely feels busy or forced. Sea When Absent is ultimately proof that weird doesn’t necessarily have to mean messy. 




A Sunny Day in Glasgow w/Pattern is Movement & Myrrias at JB's July 27

A Sunny Day in Glasgow released their first album in four years, the Jeff Zeigler-produced Sea Went Absent, earlier this week via Lefse Records, and this evening, they’ll headline a triad of local artists that know how to push the envelope. The six-piece develops an ethereal state of affairs, capturing soft siren-esque vocals combined with floating layers of instrumentation, pieces of keys/synth, strings percussion, guitar etc., fitting them together to form a beautiful musical portrait that somehow slightly drifts out there yet, for the most part, remains within reach. On a similar note, the experimental-pop pairing of Andrew Thiboldeaux and Chris Ward, a.k.a. Pattern is Movement, delivers its intricately groovy, multi-instrumental R&B, fusing a variety of musical textures while the end product appears seamless. Myrrias a newly formed quartet, which includes Mikele Edwards (Arc in Round), Amy Harkanson (Downtown Club), Casey Bell (Break It Up), and Emily Robb (Lantern), opens the show weaving together vocals with a darker edge, industrial instrumental tone. Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 9pm, $14, 21+ - Michael Colavita





New Music Video: "In Love With Useless (The Timeless Geometry in the Tradition of Passing)" - A Sunny Day in Glasgow

A Sunny Day in Glasgow dropped their latest full-length album Sea When Absent, the band's first in four years, earlier this week via Lefse Record. They also just shared a playful new music video for the track "In Love with Useless (The Timeless Geometry in the Tradition of Passing)," which was directed by Tanman Films' Ty Flowers. They'll be closing out their upcoming tour and back together again in Philly on Sunday, July 27 at Johnny Brenda's.

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New A Sunny Day in Glasgow Album Available for Streaming

A Sunny Day in Glasgow recently shared their new LP Sea When Absent over at Pitchfork Advance. It's the group's first release with outside help from producer Jeff Zeigler, and the album officially comes out tomorrow June 24 via Lefse Records. They will be back in Philly on Sunday, July 27 at Johnny Bredna's with Pattern is Movement and Myrrias.

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