Sunny Bottle

Sunny Bottle

Osaka-born band Saucy Dog focuses on the small details of life and the joy of new starts on its 2022 collection, Sunny Bottle. Just the year before, the trio experienced its greatest commercial breakthrough to date when the stirring song “Cinderella Boy” and subsequent release Lazy Sunday became hits. Vocalist-guitarist Shinya Ishihara, bassist Kazuki Akizawa, and drummer Yuika Seto’s sixth album leans more heavily into upbeat melodies and intimate lyrics to create a celebration of the everyday. Since Saucy Dog’s lineup solidified in 2016, the band has gravitated toward cheerful rock, made all the brighter by adding backing vocals, which brought extra energy to Ishihara’s singing. The trio presents some of its catchiest manifestations of this approach on Sunny Bottle. “Yasashisa Ni Afureta Sekaide” jogs ahead on acoustic guitar strums and a vocal performance starting hushed but turning bold come the chorus. “Mahou Ni Kakerarete” strips away elements to create an easy-breezy backdrop for the group to glide over. Saucy Dog sounds particularly energetic on closing number “Be Yourself.” This anthem finds Ishihara delivering one of his liveliest hooks, backed by his bandmates’ shouts and claps. On the track, the group admonishes its listeners to roll with minor setbacks rather than letting them impact their self-esteem. This mindset powers the zippy rock of “Nonfiction” and “Yasashisa Ni Afureta Sekaide,” too. True to the Sunny Bottle title, Saucy Dog shows how everyday moments can lead to happier feelings as well. “Kimi To Gyoza” finds a protagonist daydreaming about their significant other while cooking dumplings. The simple act of messaging a new crush via smartphone inspires romantic fireworks on the funkier midtempo cut “Ah, Mou.”. With this sunny mindset, the glass—or bottle—can always appear half full.

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