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Vanishing Point: Bad Suns Take Their Music Back on the Road

bad suns on selective memory

Bad Suns Will Play Deluxe at Old National Centre on March 4

Since the release of Disappear Here in September 2016, the Bad Suns unleashed a cross-country tour in support of the album. Fans sunk their teeth into every morsel. Photography often showcased the band’s creative mood and diligence to their live sound. For many, this was an inauguration into the music of their sophomore album.

The band is at it again. They are embarking on a second wind tour as a continued enhancement of the sights and sound this Los Angeles-ish band is good at.

“We have a soft spot for the smaller cities,” said vocalist Christo Bowman. “You have your New York shows, and your Philadelphias, your Los Angeles shows. That’s all great but going to a place like Indianapolis or Tulsa, Oklahoma, that’s also where the best crowds actually are. Those towns don’t get as many bands coming through as you might have in a place like Los Angeles so we feel it’s very important to acknowledge them.”

Recently, the group has been cranking away in their rehearsal space to get prepared for this tour..

“We have been going over all of the songs and will start learning, playing and refreshing our memories. Then over the course of a few weeks we will develop a set list. We also design our own light show and production simultaneously to creating the arrangements.”

The crafting it takes to put on a show like this is disciplined day by day. For them, this is their day job nailing down the performance to programming ratio and getting everything synchronized and as seamless as possible. You would think this is old hat for the Bad Suns especially as members Miles Morris and Ray Libby have the technical chops, but Bowman admits, “we just started learning how to do this stuff six months ago.”

A Closer Look Behind Disappear Here

Disappear Here was released in October 2016 on Vagrant Records. The follow up to the band’s 2014 debut, Language and Perspective, the band went deeper into their own perspectives to pull out a richer creative experience. The video for their opener, the title track, moves in neon hues and synth sparkle in a way that opens the listener’s eyes wider. The son does a great job at not only encapsulating the group but also launching us into the rest of the album. You have the pounding pop sparkle in “Heartbreaker.” You cannot help but get caught up in the chorus. And on a song like “Patience,” the interweaving of vocal harmonies harks back to Beach Boys-esque California futurism.

Bad Suns – Disappear Here Video

With the first album, it was a learning process both in the functionality of studio work and the executive upbringings of finding a label.

“Making a second record was much different from making the first one. With our first album, we recorded the first third of the album—songs like “Transpose,” “We Move Like The Ocean,” “Matthew James,” “Cardiac Arrest,” and actually an old version of the song “Defeated,” which is now on Disappear Here. We didn’t have a record label or management at that time but were lucky to work with Eric Palmquist on these songs. We were just working odd jobs and scrounging up the money to get into a studio because Eric believed in us. When we made “Cardiac Arrest,” we sat in on that song for five to six months before we released it. It was just sitting in our computers because we were not sure what to make of it or what to do. So we put it online for people to listen to and it picked up. It allowed us to get into a recording studio for the first time and making an album for the first time. That’s kind of what that record was. It was a learning experience.

“The second album, we felt like we needed to set the record straight. The distance between Disappear Here and Language and Perspective sonically is described as subtle by some but those subtleties do make a night and day difference.”

I would call Language and Perspective a daytime album, where I would call Disappear Here a nighttime album.

The vibrancy and sincerity that they propose with these songs leaves them to an exposure with lyrical richness that show a maturity for this band and a bravado that opens up new doors for the band going forward.

“Our band and our music and everything that we do is largely influenced by our personal instinct. That’s why the people I have talked to tend to really like our music because we never gotten around to cater to a trendy sound. For us it’s the ideology of what is it that we are not hearing on the radio and what is it that we want to hear for ourselves. For us, it’s making art in the purest sense. Music is so closely connected to your emotions, it’s why people will react so emotionally to music. Our job is to identify what makes us feel good when we listen to the music. We try to figure out a way to channel those experiences and what makes us feel. We get to the root of it and then turn it into a song.”

Andrew Duncan
Dug out from a pile of zines and hot sauce, Andrew Duncan has contributed to many publications through the years, including Chord and work with the ever so spunky Readyset...Aesthetic! He now resides deep within your membrane.

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