Some musicians are blessed with the talent to write simple ditties, others have a distinct voice that can carry them. Sunday Lane has both. Her début album “From Where You Are” sits firmly in the piano-pop genre and it feels assured, confident and dare I say…happy?
Opener “Get To You” has the kind of energy of Florence And the Machine and Vanessa Carlton with a curious mix of simple piano riffs, uplifting choruses and Sunday’s smoky vocals easily waxing over the melodies. You can’t have enough tuned percussion either! “A Little Too Young” is a mini anthem and is the perfect choice for a deceptively deep single. A football-esque chant for a coda and chirpy piano chords keep the pulse throbbing. A pulse that turns to a more country rock rolling stomp with “Let Me Go” which is recorded almost like it’s a live track. “Waiting For You” is the first slower track which reminds me of a Coldplay ballad. Even here though with a few minor chords thrown in, there’s a brightness to Lane’s vocals that lifts you and a bridge that’s still slightly smiling. “Painted Blue” is the first track is a real ballad with some underplayed string works beneath a piano /vocal track and this works beautifully. Sunday Lane’s voice has a curious flutter to it, almost a traditional Japanese flutter. It’s controlled and it isn’t always there but this is a wonderful demo of her voice.
“Light Up” again returns to the mid tempo rock genres with big choruses that you can sing along to whilst “Us Against Them” is more demure as it pushes towards McLachlan territory with its light rock guitars and excellent use of backing vocals to space out the melodies. “Waltzing With Fire” is a great track that builds and builds from a simple pop-ish track to a folksy rock eruption. Clearly wanting to then veer back to piano pop fun territory “Wait For Me” is a bouncy swinging Carlton-esque track. There’s a hint of a carnival in the up tempo tracks from this album. I wish there were brass sections sometimes, but that would detract from piano and vocal displays. “Want you Back” is a moody piece with minimal piano and echoed guitars and kick drums. The vocals are gritted up and the whole track has a completely different atmosphere and space than everything else here – a sign of a new direction to go perhaps? It works very well. The closing track “Slowly” is the token piano/vocal song and it works well as a bitter-sweet closer – wallowing in its simplicity and beauty.
“From Where You Are” is a very strong opener from Sunday Lane. It takes cues from some of the more popular piano based acts from the last ten years and embellishes it with a quite unique voice. Perfect for sunset drives after a great day out. This one is definitely a keeper.