If you’ve ever wondered what the water melting from the glaciers sounded like, give a listen to Sunglaciers. The Calgary quartet has a sound that is cold, bold, fluid, wavy and shimmery. Wrapped in the identity of indie rock or psych-pop; their 2019 release Foreign Bodies is a ride down a river of reverb and complete with crunchy white water rapids.
Get through the screen and into their universe with the opening track “Through the Screen.” It’s a short prick that puts you in the mood for what’s to come. The driving drums are relentless and hold down the psych trip that is intensified with vocals washed in reverb. Some background effects add a subtle but effective atmosphere as well. There are many songs throughout the album that do a sweet job of subtly wrapping you in their vibe.
“Dream Fever” is a great example. For fans of this sound, or of Kikagaku Moyo, check out whatever one of the two you don’t know because the bridge is there somewhere. This track is silky smooth and dreamy. It’s a gentle hum that wraps you in its wonder and carries you for a little while. Floating? Flying? Swimming? All of the above? Add some saxophone to that delicate vibe and boom; you’ve got yourself one gorgeous gem of a song.
The title track follows in sequence. “Foreign Bodies i” and “Foreign Bodies ii.” With these tracks, we make a return to the more rigid and concrete frequencies. As if switching between two channels on the radio, the vibes throughout this stretch cut in and cut out and cut back in again. The post-punk styled verses are undercut by psychedelic variations in tempo that throw you off the expected trajectory. The latter of these songs could have easily been mixed in with the first and nobody would be the wiser. They are unidentical and inverse twin moods.
“For What” comes through with a similar vibe. Some crunchy guitars give some great grit to the groove on this one. There’s not too much happening in terms of the structure of the song, but that’s what’s quite nice about it. It’s almost like a daydream, you check into for a second or three and just to realize it has already passed through your focus.
Another banger is a tune by the name “Gold.” A guitar-led groove is laid and layered with the same silky vocals that have been easily enjoyable throughout the rest of the album. Some pep from behind the kit pumps some life into the chord changes and sets up yet another unexpected drop in mood. The bass comes in and picks a peculiar pocket but totally rocks it. At this point, you’re set for another daydream to cruise through.
When you’re done dreaming, wake up and listen to this album, it’s a nice trip. The pace and the versatility of the music keep the ride fresh. There are even some wicked interlude tracks that are thrown in to throw you off for just a second. So take a sip of the sun-kissed glacier water that is Sunglaciers and say “ahh, fresh.”
Written by Benjamin Cornel
*edited by Danielle Kenedy