The emotionally captivating, Chicago-area group Dead Sun — who’ve memorably described themselves as “bummer rock” — are dropping their debut album A/B via Flesh and Bone Records on August 21. As the full-length approaches, get a first look below at a brand new video for the title track off the record. Through both the music and the imagery, the video seems to carefully walk listeners through a contemplation of a sort of down-tuned malaise, as if the song is a soundtrack for walking alone through a dusty alleyway while rain trickles down from above.
The opening lyrics seem to set the atmosphere of the track well when the singer softly shares: “Force out a smile, like you’ve never felt unhappy, or sad and alone, or less than worth it, without purpose.” The tone of the music makes it clear that the song’s perspective hinges upon struggling to reach those goals of happiness and a sense of purpose.
On this song in particular, Dead Sun perform a sort of shoegazey version of a post-rock sound. They’ve aptly tagged their music as — among other things — “slowcore” on their Bandcamp page. On their song “A/B,” Dead Sun take their time building their meandering wisps of smoky yet inviting melody. After an opening couple of minutes hinging on performance that seems perfectly restrained to let the emotion hang in the air on its own, in a sense, the band kick their intensity up a notch just after the three-minute mark, getting to a segment that delivers an emotional effect that feels similar to a steady cascade of ocean waves suddenly arriving at a shore.
By the time that the music gets temporarily intense, the imagery in the frequently collage-like video has taken on a fiery hue. The video was directed by Bobby Markos from the experimental rock group Cloakroom, who has crafted what seems like a perfectly dream-like collection of imagery to accompany the track. In the video, screens appear in entirely unnatural places, like plopped in the middle of footage from a waterfront. Pieces of imagery meld into and out of each other, and there’s an apparently intentionally slightly antiquated look to the footage, which amplifies the whole feeling of being out of place and even out of time.
“A/B” (the song rather than the album as a whole) features contributions in lyrics and vocal harmonies from Sam Boyhtari of Greet Death and Brady. Nab pre-orders for A/B (the album) at this link (with bundles at this link). All profits from A/B will be “donated evenly between the NAACP and the Chicago Community Bond Fund,” the label notes.
Check out the video and track below! Scroll down for some thoughts from the band about the record overall.
Dead Sun is comprised of Bryan Kingsley, Dick Hwang, and Adrian Kobziar, alongside contributions from fellow musicians including Seth Engel, Sam Jenson, and Jake Morse. Kobziar, who’s the lyricist for the band, has shared the following on behalf of the group:
“As cliché as it sounds, our sonic inspirations for this album were all of our favorite bands including some of our favorite DIY bands who’ve we’ve been fortunate enough to call our friends. Bands like Lume, No Sun, REZN, No Tongues for Quiet People, Brady, and Greet Death to name a few.
Lyrically, this record reflects a darker time of my young adult life. My insecurities, jealousies, heartbreak, and my battle with drug abuse and addiction. The songs I wrote that came more naturally have a contrast to the ones that were more forced. But in general, the words came naturally and I was more focused or caught up on their delivery and rhythm. It wasn’t until we finished all of the songs and I listened to the record as a whole when I realized how much of a kind of depressing timestamp this record is of my life during those years. It almost feels selfish to listen to them. My personal conflicts are not important in light of the diverse tragedies and numerous atrocities of the world today. But I guess everyone has to self-reflect and vent sometimes and this record encompasses that.