Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Sunnbrella pair moody shoegaze gems with truly sunny singalongs in perfect harmony across Heartworn


Release date: 24 February 2023
Sunnbrella - Heartworn - Album Artwork
24 February 2023, 12:00 Written by Ims Taylor

For an album that’s highly cohesive in tone and timbre, Sunnbrella pack an impressive breadth of atmosphere into Heartworn’s runtime, demonstrating their aptitude for both and bringing it all together on the album’s deepest moments.

For the most part, they choose one or the other and diversify with little hints of depth. But the fluctuations feel like a natural ride, perhaps because whatever they’re building, Sunnbrella are employing a curated, condensed set of sounds.

Even just the first two tracks give a snapshot of the range to come: “Fever Dream” is a tremulous, brooding cut, with keening guitar solos serving to add a dark touch atop the almost-britpop twitch of the percussion. But with the same tools – the subtle tambourine shuffle, silky guitar tones and reverb to the heavens –on “Wrong,” Sunnbrella flip it all upside down and create a DMA’s-esque slacker-indie sunshine festival banger.

From there, Heartworn continues as a masterclass and experiment in what you can do with a restrained sonic palette. The most deftly crafted cut, “Dovetail,” is a Polaroid-picture-hazy delight that shimmers with nostalgia, embodying the duality of sunshine and melancholia so well it could easily nestle on the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack. Sunnbrella hint at this euphoric blend elsewhere, in the muted jangle of the riff on “A Week Or So”, in almost imperceptible teasing hints of The Cure fuzzed up in “Ivy League”’s countermelodies – but nowhere is quite so expertly done as “Dovetail.”

There’s something soothing about the way that Sunnbrella navigate their sounds, allowing them to pop in surprises here and there without jolting you out of their world. “Defend Urself” is denser than most of the record, but it doesn’t catch you off-guard or feel out of place; similarly, “Heartworn” is light, soft and blue, without feeling like an obligatory calm moment. Heartworn rides its own undulations, each moment flowing on naturally from the one before, and Sunnbrella feel like they’re really letting the music take the lead.

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