Released via Run for Cover and Keeled Scales, Sun June’s second album finds the Austin, Texa-based five-piece expanding on the ‘regret pop’ (their term) that served them so well on the ‘Years’ LP. Focusing on how love evolves and shapes our lives, the band describe the new record as ‘prom’ music: ‘Prom isn’t all rosy and perfect. The songs show you the crying in the bathroom, the fear of dancing, the joy of a kiss – all the highs and all the lows’.
The ethereal dream pop of ‘Bad with Time’ opens proceedings as Laura Colwell references icons including Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O (who will be mentioned later), Patti Smith and Stevie Nicks while gently reassuring the subject of the song that ‘You’re too cool for LA’ – and this element of trying to find the perfect place to call home is something that will be referred to throughout the album. ‘Everything I Had’ opens with a beautiful bass line but soon becomes a meditation on moving home and the passage of time: ‘I’m not getting any younger’. The album then veers into alt-folk territory on ‘Singing’ and the marvellously melancholic ‘Bad Girl’, the latter of which finds Laura dreaming of driving down to New Orleans to refresh her head: ‘I wanted to fight it, I wanted to let it go’.
‘Karen O’ (the song) offers a meditation on loss with powerful lyrics including ‘I had a dream that you came back to me’ while ‘Everywhere’ opens in the same kind of goosebump-inducing style as Cigarettes After Sex before settling into an authentic chamber pop sound. ‘Once in a While’ has an autobiographical edge as Laura looks back on being drunk and broke while trying to find solace (‘I’ve been to heaven once in a while in the moonlight’; ‘Every time you kiss her, does it feel like missing home?’ and ‘Finding Out’ is a spacious voyage of discovery that asks why you some people get treated in a certain way. The penultimate ‘Real Thing’ has a pureness and clarity within its melodic and looping hooks that back up the words – all delivered with a tinge of sadness: ‘Are you the real thing? Hey, I’m the real thing’.
The album draws to a close with ‘Colors’, a short, sombre and quiet song that reflects the record’s overriding message of living in the moment – no matter how much joy or pain is thrown at you.