Silver Sunshine - A Small Pocket of Pure Spirit EP (2005)
1. 144,000 (Riley)
2. Waiting For The Sun (Vaughan)
3. She's The Reason (Vaughan)
4. Another Day (Riley)
5. Hiroshima Never Again (Silver Sunshine)
Richard Vaughan: guitars, Mellotron, percussion, vocals
Conor Riley: guitars, Mellotron, organ, electric piano, vocals
Stuart Sclater: bass
Iain Sclater: drums
Like a heavy hammer onto anvil down from Ether's starry meadows, the sounds of Silver Sunshine are gradually engulfing this planet Earth. With their heads floating in the mist of Europe's original psychedelic and progressive eras, the boys formed under the winter sun of San Diego, CA in the year 2001. They released their SDMA-nominated, eponymous debut album in 2004 on Empyrean Records, followed by "A Small Pocket of Pure Spirit" - their evolved EP in 2005 on the same label. Since then, they've toured the west coast of the U.S. twice and shared the stage with many friends like: Dungen, Winter Flowers, Earthless, Jennifer Gentle, Jana Hunter, Bigelf, Saint Etienne, Persephone's Bees, The Black Keys, The Sunshine Fix, All Night Radio, Green Milk From the Planet Orange and DMBQ to name a few. So what's on the horizon for Silver Sunshine? Richard Vaughan(guitar/vocals), Conor Riley(guitar/Mellotron/organ/vocals), Stuart Sclater(bass), and David Hurley(drums/flute/Moog/various noisemakers) are curently working on their next full length album and according to Vaughan: "It seems our inspiration has moved from the green fields into the weird woods." Expect a darker sound on their second album, more progressively psychedelic and organic, similar to their new live experience - sometimes heavy, sometimes gentle, always freaked.
Silver Sunshine - A Small Pocket Of Pure Spirit
I just picked up this new EP from Silver Sunshine - having been a superfan since their first album from last year. Their sound, production, songwriting and performance have definitley evolved from their first full length and Silver Sunshine seem like they're finding their own sound. Kicking off this CD is "144,000", a freaked-out psych-pop number. I hear a slight Dungen influence but more bouncy with some great tempo changes and some seering wah-wah leads. Next is "Waiting For The Sun" which starts with a dreamy, echoed mellotron flute passage that suddenly bursts into a chugging rythm with a great, sweeping mellotron string melody. There are floaty psychedelic effects all over this song and parts of it remind me of Jeff Lynne's Idle Race. The third song, "She's The Reason" shows their love of the Beatles that was ever so present on their first album. This song sounds like a cross between post Sgt. Pepper/Magical Mystery Tour Beatles, Emitt Rhodes and Jimmy Campbell's Rockin' Horse including some nice wurlitzer electric piano. A great pop rock n' roll tune. Next we move on to "Another Day" a beautiful McCartney-esque ballad with acoustic guitar, mellotron strings and gorgeous harmonies. Finally we have the closer, "Hiroshima Never Again". This song doesn't quite live up to the caliber of the previous songs but still good in it's own right. This is a freaked out instrumental groove jam with delayed wah-wah guitar and more wurlitzer for good measure. My favorite part of this track is the middle percussion break down with the sweeping sound effects including moaning girls, police sirens and fuzzed out guitars. There is a darker sound to these five songs which seems to work well for Silver Sunshine. I'm really looking forward to their next full length but until then, this will do just fine. A Small Pocket Of Pure Spirit indeed.
Silver Sunshine - A Small Pocket of Pure Spirit EP
Rated 4 1/2 “records” out of 5
This EP is best listened to at night, possibly in the
dark, preferably stoned, and definitely on
Everything about this San Diego band Silver Sunshine
screams psychedelia...On their new EP A Small
Pocket of Pure Spirit (follow up to the SDMA-nominated
Silver Sunshine LP), Silver Sunshine broadcasts five
new episodes of reverb-drenched psychedelic pop
splendor…this time with a welcomed touch of darkness.
As opposed to their first release, this EP sounds more
early Pink Floyd than Revolver-era Beatles. Trading
sunshine for clouds seems to do this band good. The
playing is more confident, the songs better crafted,
the melodies more memorable. “Bring in the organs and
strings, drag the tempo (just a bit), and for god
sakes put more reverb on the guitars…!”
Simply put, the production here is phenomenal, the
guitar work stunning, the vocals surprisingly
haunting. In a world slowly being devoured by
dance-happy, Joy Division-worshipping, pseudo guitar
bands, Silver Sunshine’s unabashed ode to
psychedelia is truly a breath of fresh air. And these
boys have it down. Double the vocals, wash it all in
reverb, write lyrics about nature, girls, and girls in
nature…brilliant! No self-loathing on this record.
Overall, the EP flows with a quiet confidence that is
very appealing—a sound anchored in the 60’s but
fitting for now. Think late nights, very late nights.
“SNEAKY” PETE SKOVILL
Ray of Light
Silver Sunshine's Cosmic Pop
BY JENNIFER MAERZ
As rock futurists tweak formulas and fixate on new nerdy genre configurations, other vinyl-obsessed acts patiently polish the past. As with many of their analog-obsessed brethren, the decade clock stops for Silver Sunshine in the '60s and '70s. Songs about gazing at the sun further paint a vision fixed firmly skyward, where the heavens hold golden melodies from the Kinks and the Beatles (especially apparent in the romantic balladry of Sunshine's "Another Day"), and the cracked-psychological sprawl of early Pink Floyd. The San Diego band's sunbursts of psych pop offer flashbacks to a musical landscape ruled by the British flag and colored in confectionary hues.
Silver Sunshine also use jeweled organ riffs and billowing vocal harmonies to bounce pop hooks to elevations near Elliott Smith heights. But instead of playing pop straight, they distort its texture with swirling vapor trails of effects and bright clusters of guitar fuzz.
On the latest Silver Sunshine EP, A Small Pocket of Pure Spirit (Empyrean Records), the band also take a couple of cues from Brit pop. They hit an ebullient mix of funk and flower-power pop on "Hiroshima Never Again"; it's a successful merger that could compete with the finest moments of a Charlatans UK song. But unlike, say, retro-fetishists the Dandy Warhols—who try every vintage style on for size to see what'll fit with mainstream success—Silver Sunshine allow their aesthetic to hang in a moodier haze. There's less of rock's cocksure swagger and more the sense of musical discovery within the annals of freakpop.
While their choruses build to kaleidoscopic dimensions, Sunshine's heavily Hendrix-influenced guitar solos slip darker shadows into their songs. And the lyrics occasionally offer additional creepiness; "Waiting For The Sun" details the metamorphosis of a woman into a flowering plant.
It's a shame these guys canceled their scheduled show in Seattle this month; with so much to listen for on their record, you can only imagine the stoned pop bliss they evoke live. For now, though, cop a copy of Pure Spirit and let your mind tour a new/old sonic universe.