Album Review: Electric Sunset Debut Is Catchy Enough but Feels Redundant

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Artist: Electric Sunset

Album: Electric Sunset

Label: K Recs

Release date: September 14

Rating (Skip, Stream, or Buy): Stream

If you've ever wondered about the sound of the skies ripping open, listen to the first 50 seconds of this album. The aptly named new solo effort of Nic Zwart (formerly of Desolation Wilderness) is swathed in shimmer and fire that's totally otherworldly yet somehow seems close enough to touch. Electro, but nodding to the melodies of vintage surf pop. Synthed out, but not short of its share in strong guitar hooks. Unfortunately, for all that could be done with this level of multivalence, the nine tracks end up feeling a little too played out and redundant.

"Here Comes Midnight" is just one notch of weird past being a formula song for a time lapse or subway scene of a Zach Braff project: floods of reverb, brief moments of downplayed falsetto, a sparkly but low-rolling melody. "Soda" kind of has that feel too. And really, most of the album has that feel. It's a great feel, to be sure, but that's why each of these songs would make fine singles but end up mostly unmemorable as an album. When Zwart does attempt some sort of new territory, like the half-ambient verses and short synth break of "Morning City," it either seems stiff and disjointed or gets lost in the much more catchy and developed hooks.

But Zwart's experiments get lost not because his weaknesses are too weak but because his strengths are that much stronger. Electric Sunset still succeeds in capturing a thoroughly enrapturing dreamscape of sound, and with the warm days of summer burning their way down, these tracks make for a perfectly lazy wave to sunshine's end.

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