Fever

Sleepy Sun

Fever

Following quickly on the heels of their debut full-length, Embrace, California’s Sleepy Sun improve on their psychedelic, prog-tinged sound. The production is tighter and crisper (it’s easy to get muddy in this genre) and the band’s careful balance of pinwheeling wisps of sound and bong-tastic guitar washes (substitute “washes” for “assaults” if you’re sensitive) — is mind-blowing in its perfection. A sextet with two muscular guitarists, the band wisely keeps the dense layers from becoming too obtuse or stifling, even when there are various ideas at play in one track. Consider opener “Marina,” which kicks off with a blast of distorted, Kyuss-flavored guitar but yields softly to a folk tableaux, with Rachel Fannan’s beautiful vocals glittering like a ray of sun against a twinkling synth. The tune abruptly shifts into a tribal, percussive interlude which gives way to guitars launching into hyperspace, drenched in effects. You’ll think you heard three songs in six and a half minutes. The key to Sleepy Sun’s future is in preventing all these ideas and tools in their collective heads from getting in each other’s way. Right now, they’re on track to contemporary, psych-rock supremacy.

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