Album Review: Sunjacket – Mantra

Sunjacket takes a solid first step on their way to stardom this week with the release of their debut album Mantra. This exquisitely produced mix of haunting vocals, bold brass, alluring guitars and enchanting synth has set a promising future for the four-piece synth rock band. The album is filled with beautifully crafted pieces making it hard to pull the out favorites with each tune progressing into something equally as appealing as the last.

Over the last few months, Sunjacket has released three singles featured on Mantra. The first single “Not Enough” is an eerie synth tune with airy vocals gracefully accompanying a strong rhythm section. Their next release, “Creepy”, which contrary to the title is not at all ominous but bright like an 80s roller disco jam. The latest single, “No One’s Around You”, which was released late last month, is probably the best of the three; an easy listen with catchy melodic lines and lyrics.

While the singles are good, it’s the songs between the releases that make the album. One standout is the unique works of “Tongue”. It opens with a sound like wind sirens bleeding into a strong chord of brass, which at first can be mistaken as inaudible vox, but is actually a testament to great skill. There’s something oddly soothing about the cool tones and bass instrumentals; a perfect mantra. There is also the angelic drive of “Dissolve It”, a piece that is so enticing as it showcases the band’s talent without the overplaying of flashy solos. It’s the second half of the piece that sticks out as listeners are treated to the first dose of saxophone with a line so perfectly simplistic leading into the repeating lyrics “you dissolve but, you never really wash out”.

 

While there is definitely a lot of synth, there are more alternative tracks such as the opening song “Grandstanders”. It’s dark, but alluring; a great beginning to catch audiences as well as a showcase beautiful vocal harmonies. Toward the end of the album is a more electric tune, “Someone Else”. It’s the guitar breaks and percussion drive halfway through the song that add a dose of rock underlining the droning vocals singing “watching someone else, watching someone again”. From here we fade into the title track, “Mantra”, a perfect way to sum of the album both in name and composition.

Sunjacket’s next show will be on Saturday, October 1st at Empty Bottle. The night will also include performances by Royal Bangs, Tinkerbelles and Dad’s Basement DJs.

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