What does Sun’s Signature sound like?
A more celestial rockier, percussive and cleaner sounding Cocteau Twins. This time with clarity.
The review of Sun’s Signature – Sun’s Signature
I’ve often wondered if and when we would see Elizabeth Fraser back leading a musical endeavour again. She’s been guest vocalist on quite a few excellent songs over the last few years but now she is back. Teaming up with her life and musical partner Damon Reece, who provides a whole cataclysm of percussion, the duo have created Sun’s Signature. The best way I can describe their sound is rock in full vivid celestial colour. Bright, beautiful, alive and constantly shape-shifting. There is more personality and originality in this EP than some bands put out in a decade.
Each song has a very different feel. “Underwater” is the most straightforward rock number. It has plenty of big guitar chords and quirky solos. The difference here is it’s set to a Lamb-esque trip-hop beat. Add in some quirky mellotron, sludgy guitar/string hybrids and some wistfully beautiful vocals and you have something special. It is the song that steadies the ship as it’s the most direct piece. Flip to “Golden Air” and here Damon Reece is in his element. Offkilter percussive loops, unusual instrumentation and distorting Elizabeth’s vocals into a pulsating synth in its own right are inspired moves. Then the track gloriously explodes for its choruses into a chrysalis of rock. Its epic conclusion brings in epic riffs, huge drums, bright and bold synths and clarity of music Elizabeth Fraser has rarely offered us before.
Totally switching gears is the exoctica-drenched “Bluedusk”. Here timpani spell out the waltzing beat before harp and guitar glissandos, hazy string bustles and dew drop plinks of tuned percussion ring out. It is a heavenly and magical track that is unlike anything else on the EP and it is bursting full of life. Elizabeth’s voice softly sings in a low register early on but she still hits her dizzying octaves like a cooing bird with ease. Even more shocking, you can relate to her usually abstract lyrics or Idioglossia. “Apples” fuses together ethereal chamber music with a chorus of backing vocals, warm synths, calming guitar solos and a bed of acoustic guitars to get pillowy with. There are whole sections of curious wonder that remind me a little of Emiliana Torrini’s bewitched folk side. Closing track “Make Lovely The Day” is a short but beautiful acoustic guitar and vocal finale that feels like a cinematic folk track for a character left alone in the rain.
Whilst it is difficult to pull away from the Cocteau Twins, this feels like a part mature evolution, part diversification of their sound. Damon Reece adds a fantastic rhythmic flair and unusual instrumentation that brings in a new chamber/exotica side to the rock. Elizabeth Fraser’s voice is just as captivating as ever. Sun’s Signature is the best thing she has put out since the Cocteau Twins. Easily. I’m very excited to see where this duo take it.
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