Thursday, 29 March 2018

EP Review - Hopeless Romantic by High Sunn (2017) (PNKSLM Recordings)

When his mother attended pre-natal scans to ensure little High Sunn was in rude health, it is rumoured that the rhythmic percussive heart beat noise was accompanied by a sprightly twang, as the mercurial infant plucked away at the high end of his umbilical chord and gave an embryonic wave to his adoring parental fans.

Similarly as a toddler, it is something of legend that his kindergarten teacher was stunned as the enfant High Sunn procured magical noises from the clatterings of crayons against plastic play buckets and synchronised various Fisher-Price elctronic kiddies toys into a makeshift studio.

Perhaps the above is not true (hey it is my blog and I will exercise whatever poetic license I choose) and I have let my imagination rule once more. What is not a product of my own personal fantasy world, but still equally as 'fantastic', is that this San Francisco teenager called High Sunn, or Justin Cheromiah as he was christened, has over thirty releases to his name, including seven albums and two EP's (attracting nine different labels in the process) prior to the release of this EP...all before he was 18 !!!

I was well aware of his previous releases via the enthusiasm one of @janglepophub Twitter followers has for him and periodically checked out his previous lo-fi bedroom output, which, whilst thoroughly enjoyable from both an intrigue and the promise perspective, never really appealed to such an extent that I would part with my hard earned cash to get hold of his work.

However, my consistent checking of his work finally paid off with this superb EP, which sees him completely shake off the shackles of lo-fi bedroom musical claustophobia and jump head first into the glorious pool of all things jangle that he merely dipped his toe into before.

Perhaps this was due to circumstance. For this is High Sunn's first studio release and his first with a band. As such he has far more scope to exercise his musical talents and this coupled with the fact this release is produced by Dylan Wall who is responsible for much of the jangled beauty that emanates from Craft Spells, means that both the increase in the guitar beauty and the obvious overall quality is extremely tangible, as he jangles his way through echoed tales of rejection and yearning like any self respecting teenager should.

Holding Hands

This is one of those extremely rare releases where all the tracks completely excel. However the possible stand out tracks of the EP come in the middle of the release. Holding Hands (see above) sounds like the best track the Cats on Fire never released, with its extremely high end guitar work, fuzzed out vocals and a general aesthetic to the overall sound that conjures up reference points to Korean Janglers Say Sue Me. Its a short track at just over 2 minutes long, but despite its length the track has a gradually developed dynamism that makes it perfect single fodder for those of us old enough to remember the 'perfect single'.

The other 'perfect single' on the album comes in the proceeding track, Tears (see below). Here there seems to be a more blustering quality to the productions as Cheromiah tones down the echoed vocals just enough to reveal a Albert Hammond Jnr vocal stylistic that is ably assisted by the sort of jangle and chime that The Strokes sometimes attempted but never really truly accomplished. It is the EP's only genuine dip into definitive indie rock on the album, but an absolutely superb one.

I could go on and perhaps I should, because the final two tracks are just slightly lesser shades of brillianct as well (the introduction and dominant guitar riff on Polaroids is superb). However I am going to save my two increasingly tired typing fingers to emphasize that  High Sunn's first studio album 'Missed Connections' is available on pre-release HERE and is due to be released on 13.04.18.

If the album is as consistent as this EP it would have to be considered as an essential purchase.

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