EP Walkthrough: Sunscreen break down their second EP, Falling In An Elevator
The Sydney indie-rock four-piece, one of our favourite new forces, will tour the EP in September/October.
Header image by Aiden Stone.
If you're at all familiar with the flourishing Australian indie-rock world, chances are you've already come across Sunscreen. The Sydney four-piece have become purveyors of the genre across the last three years, with 2017's debut EP Just A Drop and a run of singles since - this year's High Over Love and Think About You - seeing the band have step forward as front-runners of Australian music's bright future ahead, while shows at BIGSOUND 2018 have seen them flex their live performance muscle and showcase how they translate their jangly indie-pop into the live realm (answer: in a very, very great way - as we found out). Now, however, as we enter the second half of 2019, the band are on the cusp of a full national break-out.
The release that'll get them there is Falling In An Elevator, their five-track second EP which showcases how much the band have evolved and grown since their debut, introducing new energies and new flavours while sticking to that distinct Sunscreen charm that have seen them blossom into something special across the last few years. It's largely centred around the vocals of the band's frontwoman Sarah Sykes, who introduces this punk-meets-pop edge to the band that swerves between punchy, empowering yells and swooning vocals (often within the same song, like High Over Love), while guitars underneath marry the realms of indie, rock and punk depending on the song.
Written over a few years, Falling In An Elevator is an empowering listen. It tells the story of "a romantically confused young person trying to survive in the big city" through rich lyricism on heartbreak and love, and you can feel that romanticism throughout the EP's emotive cries and the way that Sarah's vocal is able to soar regardless of the viciousness of the instrumental underneath - a difficult feat to achieve, but one that Sunscreen pull off flawlessly.
Throughout September and October, the band will tour the EP across the east coast - more information at the end of this feature - but for now, you can dive into Falling In An Elevator below thanks to the incredible Spunk! Records, with a track-by-track walkthrough dissecting its inner themes and creation by Sarah herself.
Own Two Feet
Born out of a jam in our practice studio, this is the only song I play keyboard on. I left the room for a moment, came back in, and the guys were playing this fast-paced, shiny, post-punk-sounding kinda thing. I recorded it on my phone and listened for weeks. Then one day when I was up the coast in Newcastle visiting my family, the song suddenly turned up in my head fully formed. The lyrics are massively bittersweet; it’s about asking someone you love and care about deeply to let you go, while also acknowledging that you share a magical bond.
High Over Love
It’s the Sunscreen pop song, and a really fun one to play live. Three years ago when we lived in a sharehouse together, Alex (our guitarist) started playing this cool melody on his guitar in the loungeroom. I wrote the song following that melody. The song is about questioning a romance that isn’t working out. The lyrics ask the question: if don’t feel like you’re “high” over someone, what is the point?
Another bittersweet sad-happy song about contemplating departing from a romance. Though this one is definitely one of our sadder songs. In the same vein as most Sunscreen songs, I started singing over Alex’s guitar lines, mimicking the melody with my voice and adding lyrics. I’d been listening to a lot of ‘90s showgaze-y bands like Galaxie 500, Slowdive… in the same way that they do, I wanted to take my pain and turn it into something beautiful yet very simplistic.
Now that I am well into putting our songs into boxes, I may as well continue with this streak, haha (though I urge you to draw your own meaning from Sunscreen songs, as I find that way more interesting… this is my two cents). Coexist is an angry, fun rock song about trying to make peace with your ex. The lyrics are very literal: ‘I hear it from my friends and then we spend the whole weekend avoiding each other.’ I just want everyone to get along, you know?
Think About You
We call this one Sunscreen’s love song, and also Sunscreen’s country song. Think About You is probably the most fun one for us to play live. It’s super romantic yet has a frantic edge to it - kind of like the anxiousness and excitement of new love. Just like High Over Love and Coexist, this song was also written over two years ago.
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