Mother Sun impresses with the mindful and nostalgic indie rock on their debut, Caramel Clouds.
Kamloops band Mother Sun impresses with mindful and nostalgic indie rock on their debut LP, Caramel Clouds. Their sound fits comfortably in the niche of Canadian alternative and indie bands (with forerunners including Broken Social Scene and July Talk) without sounding derivative of any other artists. The way Mother Sun uses its instruments is as polished as it is experimental — it’s a defining feature of their music that makes the group stand out immediately against other garage rock and grunge rock bands of a similar vein. Themes of contemplation and resignation bookend the album, though the band never surrenders their bass-heavy drive or psychedelic ubiquity.
The songs on Caramel Clouds quickly become familiar, both in the melodies and in the shared spirit of quarter-life crises. “Happily Sinking Heart” best defines the tone of this album. The track feels much longer than its three minutes, all of which are devoted to lightheaded reflections. It’s ironically comforting, with lyrics like “I got too tired to pull on my thin disguise” and “Walk fast on the tightrope/before it snaps in half.” Lead singer Jared Doherty‘s delivery is always laid-back without ever slipping into total lethargy. 60s and 70s pop and rock influences (Beatles-like riffs in “Sunny Tuesday” and “Flower”) recall simpler times, although Mother Sun makes it hard to remember they ever existed at all.
Subtle details like soft keyboard touches on “Organized Crime,” the organ opening of “Straw Man,” or the careful use of reverb on “Flower” keep the listener pensive for all ten tracks, regardless of when or where one might find themselves listening to this music. It’s sometimes hard to decide whether to respond with sympathy or indifference to some of the issues that Mother Sun addresses in their songs, which may be precisely their intent.