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Sun Vow See Growth Through Change On Latest Album

todayJuly 25, 2023

Background

Sun Vow’s return to making music should have Tulsa’s music scene buzzing. The band has made a lot of changes since their debut release 8 years ago. The band’s constant, Jeremie White, pulled in an amazing group of collaborators to reshape and grow the band’s sound. The duo of Jessica and Ricardo Sanchez from Junfalls and Imgonnadie take over vocals and drums, respectively. Patrick Caldwell, formerly the drummer for heavy hitters Holy Void joins White on guitar. Charles Hesting, formerly of Disparity Gospel, rounds out the group on bass. The rebirth comes with a new album, You have your whole life behind you now, out on Cult Love Sound Tapes.

If you know the members’ previous bands, you’d expect the music to be on the heavier side. While songs like “Cold Spot” and “Hyperventilating” hint at a heavier set of influences, the album as a whole leans more toward creating a flowing sonic backdrop. Jessica’s vocals typically center around a harsh, abrasive energy in previous bands, but the vocals on YHYWLBYN are breathy, drawn out, atmospheric, and surprisingly emotional for the delivery style. For another release the vocals might be considered buried in the mix, but Sanchez’s voice melds perfectly with the rest of the instruments. At moments it even feels like an instrument droning along with the guitars. Having loved Junfalls, it took a couple of listens for the new vocal style to click for me, but when it did it made perfect sense.

While everything aesthetically fits together in the songwriting, you could somewhat describe the sound as a juxtaposition. The doomy-drum fills lead in the somber and eerily calming vocals. Dark undertones lurk below the instrumentation in each song while also leaving space for more open sentiment. Eccentric moments like surfy guitar riffs over fuzzy, low-end heavy chords on “Operator” provide enough variety to make the album not feel entirely singular, but don’t interrupt the flow. You have your whole life behind you now is a rich sound bath driven by subtlety and lit up by delicate riffs.

After several listens, I found myself getting lost in the hypnotic flow created by the echo drenched vocals and the simple but entrancing chord progressions. There are a few songs that feel like standouts, but none of them seem to be written as the main event. Instead, the album works as a whole. It flows from song to song with ease and works best as a front-to-back listening experience.

Recommendations: “Stones on Stones”, “Operator”, and “Monochromatic Maze”

Cassettes are available through Cult Love Sound Tapes.

Written by: Tip Crowley


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