epic45 are very good at remembering their youthful summers in the countryside. They have built a pretty successful career out of sun-dappled faded reminiscences with soft focus guitars and hushed vocals. This EP is almost an addendum to their recent Through Broken Summer LP and contains outtakes, alternate versions and some brand new tracks.
6-track CD EP on Wayside & Woodland Recordings.
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Epic45 have made a career out of making What To Look For In Summer style documents of their idyllic childhood of which Sun Memory is the latest. They would be nothing without reverb and here it is slathered over winsome vocals and jangling guitars so that the ultimate effect is like a kind of wind tunnel version of the latest Slowdive album.
Which of course is no bad thing, if you love your drifting shoegaze then the opening title track is something you should not be without. The last minute or so of it in particular is delicious with a kind of hazy wobbling effect placed over the rustic soundscapes. Their records are produced with a cleanliness and obsession to detail that can, at times be cloying to my ears which often like a bit of rough. However Kaleidioscope Days is built round a chiming guitar riff which is lovely on the ear, I keep wondering where it's going to take me. The answer is absolutely nowhere save some drifty female vocals and saccharine synth work. A lovingly prepared cul-de-sac of sound.
We have to remember though that this mini LP is just an annexe to last years Through Broken Summer LP. These bits do sound like afterthoughts and outtakes albeit very pleasant ones. Tracks like Afternoon Sun Dissolves are lovely for a minute or two - the kind of hazed harvest folk that Bibio introduced to the world.
It's a strange time to be Epic45. Last time I saw them play live, their sound was so huge and impressively dramatic that I felt that it was a crying shame they aren't on the bills for many a summer festival. At the same time I also feel that they need to become bolder with their recorded output and let Ben Holton's vocals really connect with the listener emotionally. For now Sun Memory continues the path of Through Broken Summer in being a lovely, plangent and occasionally gorgeous listen.
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