– featured image courtesy of bryan parker –
the debut full-length from sun june would be formidable on the strength of its four singles alone. the lilting “discotheque,” the churning “slow rise ii,” and the understated “young” combine for a veritable triple threat right out of the gate, while the impossibly wistful “records” sets the bar for the album’s flip-side. spread across years, however, are six more gems of equal strength, a testament to the austin quintet’s effortless ability to sequence an album as melancholic as it is instantly memorable.
rounding out the a-side is “johnson city,” its contemplative slide guitar work further broadening sun june’s already-spacious horizons, and the nesting behavior of “homes,” a low and slow saxophone undercurrent dovetailing with warm vocal harmonies. the album’s final four tracks rest comfortably in the vestiges of “records,” each latching on to a certain timbre or cavernous echo and exploring it fully. the light four-on-the-floor pulse of “baby blue” and the descending turnarounds that populate “apartments” in particular work to provide respite, subtle gestures that drape sun june’s aesthetic with nostalgia and comfort.
while years registers primarily as a guitar-centric album, michael bain’s motifs and interjections pasted to a wall of reverb, laura colwell’s electric piano treatments don’t deserve to be overlooked; the instrument’s chiming vibrato is the linchpin of penultimate cut “i’ve been,” stretching into its upper register as the song swells to a conclusion. taken together, years is a compelling inaugural outing, its ten tracks calibrated for optimal contemplation.