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A Sunny Day in Glasgow — Sea When Absent (2014)

 A Sunny Day in Glasgow — Sea When Absent (June 24, 2014)

USA Flag A Sunny Day in Glasgow — Sea When Absent
   Fronted by identical twin sisters Lauren and Robin Daniels and masterminded by their brother Ben, A Sunny Day in Glasgow emerged in the early 2000s with synth-laden experimental noise-pop that echoed 1980's shoegaze acts like the Jesus and Mary Chain.
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia, Brooklyn and Sydney, Australia.          Formed: in 2006
Genres: Dream pop, Shoegaze, Ambient
Album release: June 24/August 11, 2014
Record Label: Lefse Records
Duration:     47:06
01. Byebye, Big Ocean (The End)     4:17
02. In Love With Useless (The Timeless Geometry in the Tradition of Passing)     5:07
03. Crushin'     4:43
04. Mtlov (Minor Keys)     4:07
05. The Things They Do to Me     5:04
06. Boys Turn Into Girls (Initiation Rites)     5:07
07. Never Nothing (It's Alright, It's Ok)     5:05
08. Double Dutch     1:35
09. The Body, It Bends     3:44
10. Oh, I'm a Wrecker (What to Say to Crazy People)     4:08
11. Golden Waves     4:09
12. Eminent Love (Only in Walks in Dreams)
2014 Lefse Records
Ben Daniels — guitars, songwriting
Josh Meakim — guitars, keyboards, vocals
Annie Fredrickson — vocals, cello, keyboards
Jen Goma — vocals
Ryan Newmeyer — bass
Adam Herndon — drums
former members:
Robin Daniels
Lauren Daniels
Brice Hickey
Mich White
Jason Trill
Pete Leonard
•   A Sunny Day in Glasgow is a noisy/ambient pop band whose members include Ben Daniels, Josh Meakim, Annie Fredrickson, Ryan Newmyer, Adam Herndon, and Jen Goma.
BY CHAD JEWETT, 18 JUNE 2014, 09:30 BST; SCORE: 8.5/10
•   We tend to think of noise as something that obscures or confronts — either the haze that makes bands like No Age or Japandroids mysterious or the storm clouds that made Sonic Youth “dangerous” or provocative. So it can be jarring when one finds that A Sunny Day In Glasgow, on their very good new album, Sea When Absent, have managed to turn a three-decade tradition of wall-scraping audio difficulty into deeply enjoyable pop music. Where Cloud Nothings (for instance) offer gnarled tunefulness despite the aural whirlwinds that wrap around their weary emo, so that the band’s agile melodies seem hard-won, fighting their way to the top of a maelstrom, A Sunny Day In Glasgow have more or less become sculptors of sound, turning discord and dissonance into harmonic loveliness.
•   “Bye Bye, Big Ocean (The End)” treats this taste for noise like a thesis statement as waves of brittle static fall in sheets around hop-scotching drums and singer Jen Goma’s buoyant high alto. Built (one would guess) from the gloaming echoes of a hyper-distorted guitar and bass, that fog simply creates the effect of light beaming through stained glass, giving the whole song a dreamy yet radiant quality that suits its early 60’s girl-group melodies, its twee-pop sense of proportion and charm. When Goma’s melody archs upward in the song’s quiet bridge, surrounded only by studio-crushed drums, you find yourself looking forward to a new cascade of sound like the lulls in a midway ride. Like the swell of Motown horns, A Sunny Day In Glasgow’s aural monoliths become pleasure-center apexes. Indeed, when a quick flash of Supremes-esque melody lances through “In Love With Useless”, clouding with bit-crushing studio effects, that mix of static-y futurism and pop classicism grows even more literal. Many of these songs have the effect of a cut-and-glue collage, different layers and patches of ecstatic, brilliant noise creating an ever-refracting surface of electrified harmony and counterpoint.
•   Yet the baroque sonic maximalism of Sea When Absent works best when it’s used as punctuation or accent, and is less successful when, as on “The Things They Do” it appears to be the end in and of itself. But these moments are largely exceptions to the rule, and if anything, A Sunny Day In Glasgow are increasingly honing a taste for an oeuvre of airy pop that runs from Madonna through Camera Obscura to Solange. Indeed, the retro-experimentalism of Solange’s most recent album, True, is echoed by the light-hearted R&B of “Crushin’” (whose title already sounds like early 90’s electro-soul), a song dappled with rubbery keyboards and boasting a lovely sing-song of melody, with refrains like “See it in your heart” evoking a very specific field of pre-millennium pop music.
•   If a melody begins to grow ponderous (this happens from time to time) or a section turns hazy like a gathering cumulus, one can more often than not wait a breath or two for the whole thing to burst into a summer shower or swell into a dazzling field of gleeful noise. Indeed, like a more cerebral version of the bass drops that make dubstep go, you find yourself taken with the pattern of low-lying verses and skyrocketing choruses until you wait for each song’s lift-off, and marvel when, as on “The Body Bends,” a Belle And Sebastian-scaled bit of indie-folk expands like a balloon into something more celebratory, giddy, bright. When an actual honest-to-goodness horn section comes in, a bit of organic radiance amongst the otherwise synthetic landscapes A Sunny Day In Glasgow tend to build, the effect is wonderful, the aural equivalent of a finely tuned firework finale.
•   In the grand tradition of many a forward-thinking pop record, Sea When Absent is an album of parts. It is a collection of moments throughout which you look forward to the sudden blossom of a hook on “I’m A Wrecker”, the magisterial, swaying pomp that begins “Golden Waves” (the album’s final track, and its sheer high point) and the blankets of harmony that wrap its middle. You find yourself looking forward to these widened vistas and sudden climaxes even on a second or third listen. In that sense, A Sunny Day have just about mastered the pleasure principle of a certain kind of agreeably arty pop music, a tradition as wide-ranging as to have room for both Kate Bush and Postal Service — two influences at the edges of what this band does. Which is to say that the band’s indifference to formal definitions of “verse” “chorus”  — even “song” in the ABABB sense — are besides the point. Their interest lies instead in sugar rushes and ice cream headaches — the scenes from movies you search out on YouTube like four minute recharges. (http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/)
Artist Biography by Margaret Reges
•   Fronted by identical twin sisters Lauren and Robin Daniels and masterminded by their brother Ben, A Sunny Day in Glasgow emerged in the early 2000s with synth-laden experimental noise-pop that echoed 1980's shoegaze acts like the Jesus and Mary Chain. Ben Daniels started making cassette recordings with the help of his friend Ever Nalens years before A Sunny Day in Glasgow got together. Nalens lived in Glasgow from 2002 to 2004 in order to go to art school, and Daniels moved to London about a year later. They started collaborating again after Ben returned in the summer of 2005, but Nalens abandoned the project after a couple months. Daniels continued to write songs, asking his sister Robin to take over the vocals. Lauren was brought in as a vocalist a few months later, and the group started recording tracks in Ben's West Philadelphia apartment and at their parents' house in the suburbs. They put some of the tracks together and released them as an EP called The Sunniest Day Ever, in March 2006. The EP charted at number one on New York's WNYU, the songs started bouncing around online, and soon enough, Pitchfork gave the first track on their EP, "C'mon," a four-star rating. Indie labels started to pay attention, and the group snagged a record deal with Notenuf Records in October 2006. They recorded their first full-length album, Scribble Mural Comic Journal, in 2006 and released it, along with an EP of outtakes called Tout New Age, the following year. Their second studio LP, Ashes Grammar, arrived in 2009, followed by a lineup change that saw the group expand into a full-blown six-piece. The Nitetime Rainbows EP arrived in March 2010, followed by the all-new full-length Autumn, Again in October of that year. After a brief quiet period, the outfit revealed they had worked on their fourth album, Sea When Absent, with producer Jeff Zeigler (Kurt Vile, the War on Drugs) in 2013, and the full-length release was expected to arrive the following year.
June 23rd — Brooklyn, NY @ Kinfolk 94 *FREE album release party / dj night
July 3rd — Boston, MA @ Great Scott
July 6th — Washington, DC @ DC9
July 7th — Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Café (w/ Ponydiver, Butterbirds)
July 8th — Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle (w/ Light Foils, StarTropics)
July 9th — Minneapolis, MN @ Icehouse (w/ Field Trip)
July 11th — Spokane, WA @ The Bartlett (w/ Ages and Ages)
July 12th — Seattle, WA @ Crocodile Back Bar  (w/ Oh! Pears)
July 13th — Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios (w/ Golden Retriever, Tender Age)
July 15th — San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern (w/ Roses, Cruel Summer, Swiftumz)
July 16th — Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theatre (w/ Roses, United Ghosts)
July 17th — Tempe, AZ @ Last Exit
July 19th — Kansas City, MO @ Czar Bar
July 20th — Fort Worth, TX  @ Lola’s Saloon (w/ Animal Spirit)
July 21st — Austin, TX @ Mohawk
July 22nd — New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa (w/ Cardinal Sons)
July 23rd — Athens, GA @ Caledonia Lounge
July 24th — Charlotte, NC @ Recess Fest at Snug Harbor  (w/ Spirit System)
July 25th — Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery (w/ Thrushes, Yumi Zouma)
July 26th — Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right (w/ Ice Choir, Jason Bartell)
July 27th — Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s (w/ Pattern Is Movement, Myrrias)
Website: http://www.asunnydayinglasgow.com
MySpace: https://myspace.com/sunnydayinglasgow
Press: U.S. Inquiries: Dave Halstead (dave@canvasmediapr.com) / UK Inquiries: Ivano & Alex (howdy@braceyourselfpr.com)
Tumblr: http://sittingcontest.tumblr.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sunnydayglasgow
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/asunnydayinglasgow
Lefse: http://lefserecords.limitedrun.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/asunnydayinglasgow
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/a-sunny-day-in-glasgow
Wikipedia: https://myspace.com/sunnydayinglasgow
Studio Albums:
•   Scribble Mural Comic Journal (February 13, 2007) (CD/LP)
•   Ashes Grammar (September 15, 2009) (CD/LP)
•   Autumn, Again (October 19, 2010) (download/LP)
•   Sea When Absent (June 24, 2014)
•   The Sunniest Day Ever EP (March 2006)
•   Tout New Age EP (July 10, 2007)
•   Nitetime Rainbows EP (March 2, 2010)
•   Slumberland Records Searching for the Now, Volume 3 7" (June 11, 2008)
•   Geographic North Records You Can't Hide Your Love Forever Vol. 1 — "(cult of) The Cemetery Flowers (mandolins version)" 7" (July 8, 2008)
•   Summerlong Silences 7" (July 21, 2008)
•   Shy, digital single (November 10, 2009)

A Sunny Day in Glasgow — Sea When Absent (2014)