Alien by The Sun
“We hawked the gear, we sold the van, we squeezed as much as we could out of the label and severed all ties,” singer, Chris Burney laughs about early stages of what would become their newest record. But selling the gear and splitting with the label was not the end of the logistical nightmare that would plague the creation of this record; continued legal battles, arguments with management and the departure of two bandmates made for some other highlights along the way.
For this project, The Sun boys teamed up with producer Mike McCarthy, best known for his production work with the band Spoon. McCarthy has produced everything Spoon has put out from 2001’s Girls Can Tell to their latest Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. “[Mike] has a technique of pushing you psychologically until you are in the mood he wants you in for the particular song you are working on.”
The intensity of the working environment, combined with the high stakes of the situation the band found themselves in, is evident in the sonic qualities of this record. McCarthy’s work with Spoon is often sparse and spacious but these arrangements are packed with squeaky synths, happy accidents, off-mic shouts, and mumbled stories about booty and Bella Lugosi.
The album’s opener Cocaine & Tunes, starts off with a chaotic jumble of instruments falling into place like a flock of birds, tumbling and over-correcting until completely locking in. The prozac saturated roller rink organ on Watch Out is directly juxtaposed with the speedy/anxious saxophone squeaks of Do the Sucker.
The scope of this record is wide, (the scope of each song is wide) but The Sun finds unity by balancing influences and sounds, equal distances from one another. The final song, In Perfect Time seems so loud that it somehow becomes quiet again.
Alien by The Sun is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.