Brasstronaut – Mean Sun

September 20, 2012

Bounce, the opening track on Brasstronaut’s Mean Sun, is one of the greatest pieces of music I’ve heard this year. Floating in a balearic haze, all swelling French horns, I Wanna Be Adored bassline, and gentle waves of exquisite vocal, the track is transcendental, hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck perfection.

Mean Sun is the Canadian bands second album, and I’m kicking myself for missing their first. Throughout they weave the kind of cohesive atmosphere that makes an album classic. Their name may be bloody awful, but it’s pretty accurate – they have horns on every song, and they sound like space(d)men. Conjuring a shoegazing atmosphere of medicated summertime, the bands pop melodies hang shimmering in the air, sweetness undercut by lyrics dark as shadows in the sun- the title track finding lead singer Edo Van Breemen numbly breathing

“Look how mean the sun can shine// black out wasted all the time”

The lush arrangements nod as much to modern classical and breezy jazz as electronic indie stalwarts Phoenix, and even when the album occasionally slumps into a stoned sprawl on tracks such as Moonwalker, Mean Sun remains an intricate and enchanting listen. At it’s best however, on Bounce, on the flute driven and folksy Revelstoke Dam, or the disco influenced soar of Francisco, Brasstronaut carve a unique and fascinating path- comparisons can be made with the gentle harmonies of Simon & Garfunkel, or the melodic twists of Ereland Oye, but really, currently, Brasstronaut are in a field all of their own. A truly special album. Bounce alone scores it a 9/10…

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