Sunbeam Sound Machine: Evoking Bliss And Loss Equally

  • Written by  Gyan Rocha
  • Monday, 15 April 2019 15:52
Published in Music  
Sunbeam Sound Machine drops his sophomore LP 'Goodness Gracious' on 3 May. Sunbeam Sound Machine drops his sophomore LP 'Goodness Gracious' on 3 May.

Soaked in gloomy nostalgia and reverb, Sunbeam Sound Machine (aka Nick Sowersby) is back with a second LP ‘Goodness Gracious’.

After his 2014 debut ‘Wonderer’, the high spirited Melbourne artist returns with music that takes a blissful journey into Nick’s creative mindset.

Sunbeam Sound Machine is less a band than a one-person mystical order, endlessly searching for new secrets in the same sacred texts like Deerhunter and Atlas Sound. It’s a subtle sound, better suited to sleepless nights than festival stages.

But don’t let that lull you into missing the point. This multi-instrumentalist will take you on a worthwhile journey. “I began working on this album in an exploratory way, recording for recording’s sake until an album began to take form naturally,” Nick says.

“Along the way, I found some sounds that it feels like I’ve been hearing in my head for years. The result is 11 songs that document a period of change, about what we look to for guidance, comfort and stability in uncertain times.”

Speaking about the new album's artwork, Nick explains what inspired the hazy lighthouse shot. “It was actually a photo my dad took in the ‘80s, and he emailed it to me one day, not for any reason just as a random attachment. It hit me from there and I was pretty certain I was going to use it.

“It came to me really early on so I had it before I had written half the songs. It was nice to have that photo and to see whether a song had the right mood for the album cover and more so the album itself.”

Sunbeam Sound Machine first garnered attention with 2013 EP 'One', before 'Wonderer' received widespread acclaim, leading to nationwide touring in Australia as well as the US with Sowersby’s five-piece live outfit.

Sunbeam Sound Machine's early releases created a chill-wave sound similar to the best of early Tame Impala and Mac DeMarco. However, it appears Sowersby has moved on from his distinctive psychedelic impulse to a mood that encompasses a feeling of sentimental disorder, particularly with standout tracks ‘Talking Distance’ and ‘Seems Like You’ve Made Up Your Mind’.

“The first album was a lot more psychedelic and was reflected in the album artwork.

“Whereas this one has a lot more of a feeling to it and is a bit more of a moody album. But I was really happy with the first album, so it was a challenge to try and make something better.”

Having previously drawn substantial influence on past releases from his travels in Japan, Nick found inspiration more from the musical side with this record.

“I listen to a lot of a band called Talk Talk, in particular the album ‘Spirit Of Eden’, as well as Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Nebraska’. That album is obviously incredibly stripped back. Sort of made me want to do my own version of that a little bit.”

‘Goodness Gracious’ is released 3 of May.


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