By EMILY SCHMDIT, Guest Writer
Bad Suns, the Indie/Alt Rock band originating from Southern California, released their new album titled “Disappear Here” on September 16, 2016. Two years in the making while touring with bands such as The 1975, The Neighbourhood, and Halsey along the way, Bad Suns have successfully created an album even greater than their first. Painting the perfect picture of youth and every confusing, mixed-up emotion that comes with it, Bad Suns opens their sophomore album with the title track “Disappear Here.” Opening the song, guitarist Ray Libby plays a melody reminiscent of every early 2000s pop punk song, yet flows into one familiar to every Bad Suns long-time listener. Molded together with the famous fast-paced drumming perfectly done by drummer Miles Morris, Christo Bowman’s thunderous vocals and Gavin Bennett’s sonic bass, listeners will know that Bad Suns is back and are better than ever.
Second on the album, “Heartbreaker” is filled with upbeat drums and an intoxicating beat as it continues the listener on a journey through a messy, wine-stained love story; all too real to members of this generation. Offering the advice every young person needs to hear, “Off She Goes” confirms the fears of failure and criticism every 20-something faces while entering the “real” world, while still containing the classic Bad Suns Californian sunny sound. Though instead of giving into these fears, this song allows us to embrace them.
An electrifying new beat for Bad Suns, the synthesizer at the beginning of “Love Like Revenge” sounds very similar to the score for the new Netflix original show taking the world by storm, Stranger Things, taking place in the height of the 80s. Typically teeming with that sun soaked California sound, this track switches things up with its heavy 80’s influence, offering listeners a funky and unexpected new sound.
Going back to the sound featured on most, if not all, of their debut album Language & Perspective, “Even in My Dreams, I Can’t Win” reveals new depths of Bowman’s songwriting. Featuring a deeply rooted fear that the world is out to get him, this tune disguises complex emotions behind a surprisingly rhythmic and upbeat tune.
The layered vocals in “Patience,” similar to the ones used in many songs by Indie Pop band Walk the Moon, lead into an effortlessly mesmerizing chorus paired with grandiose guitar riffs. This exhilarating feel-good song is perfect for those picturesque nights spent driving into the sunset. Following this easygoing tune, the ethereal beat of “Swimming in the Moonlight” accompanied by the chimes in the background gives listeners a feeling of a light-hearted and effervescent kind of love one sees in all of the movies with happy endings.
One of the most introspective, and my personal favorite, tracks on the album, “Defeated,” begins slowly with the instruments playing softly in the background. While Bowman croons about his fear of being alone and of his unknown future, the instruments crescendo into a harmonic tune, reflecting the pensive nature of the lyrics within the song, but still hypnotic enough to make this song a certified jam.
Bad Suns stays true to their classic sound in “Daft Pretty Boys,” yet still manage to slip in some new aspects to the track like the transcendent harmony in the chorus, making the song sound very light and blissful. The mix of the new and old sounds in this track makes it something truly sublime.
Really making use of what they know how to do, “Violet” tells the story of two lovers destined for demise while the beat carrying this story along contrasts this song with it’s sunny and tender tune. The lyrics on this track are the catchiest on the album, and the song itself makes use of an ebullient and innocent tune.
Bad Suns showcases their immense musical talent by including the next track, “Maybe We’re Meant to Be Alone.” This track, the first of its kind for Bad Suns, is a slower tune, and clearly the most emotionally inspired song on the album. The title itself depicts the speaker’s struggle with self-doubt and insecurity.
The trend of songs with up-beat rhythms but contradicting lyrics infused with fears and doubts continues with “How Am I Not Myself.” The chorus sings of the speaker’s struggle with self-identity through the lyrics how am I not myself?/I’m awake, I’ll figure it out and depicts the speaker’s difficulty with figuring himself out and how to get to a point of clarity.
Yet another sunny and carefree melody on the album, “Outskirts of Paradise” closes out the album with a bang. This song is full of beautiful lyrics like An ephemeral sense of space and time and chants the line Separate yourself/integrate yourself repeatedly throughout. With guitar riffs reminiscent to The 1975’s single “Medicine,” the new 80s vibe is mixed with the classic Bad Suns sound to create this anthem for our generation about chasing a dream and all of the steps it takes to get there.
Every single song on this album has something so special about it, something I can’t really find the words to describe, making it truly something to be remembered. As I shift myself into a college routine and begin to think about what the hell I’m going to do with an English degree, I have found that I have a hard time feeling confident in the decisions I have made and will have to make in the future. This album touches on almost every single doubt I have had about my future and has encouraged me to think about the possibility that maybe I am not alone in all of my fears and that the rest of today’s youth harbors the same doubts that I do. This album does an excellent job at pairing insightful lyrics with light and danceable beats, perfect for learning to dance away the fears and the doubts and accepting the fact that despite all of the doubts and uncertainty, perhaps life just might work out for all of us.