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Sun Atoms & Little Cloud Records – keeping Portland prominent on the U.S. music map

19 April 2024

Psychedelic gaze-wave outfit Sun Atoms recently released a 7” vinyl featuring the new wave-inspired single ‘Ceiling Tiles’ and a unique fuzzed-out tribute to Leonard Cohen called ‘Tower of Song (in the key of JAMC)’. Mixed by iconic producer Jagz Kooner (Massive Attack, Primal Scream, Oasis, Garbage), it comes via the ever-growing label Little Cloud Records digitally, who are also putting out the band’s sophomore album this summer.

Sun Atoms’ members come from a range of musical backgrounds. Who exactly is in the band? Can you describe the players’ past activities and how you all came to this band?

Sun Atoms is made up of bassist Peter G. Holmström (The Dandy Warhols, Pete International Airport), vocalist Jsun Atoms (The Upsidedown, Daydream Machine), multi-instrumentalist June Kang (Soft Shadows), Mars de Ponte (LoveBomb Go-Go), L.A. drummer Eric Rubalcava (Pastilla) and Boise native Derek Spencer Longoria-Gomez (Hi Hazel). Sun Atoms – made of both heat and light – originate from a nuclear fusion process that is occurring inside the core of the Sun. 

Can you tell me a bit about your new single, Ceiling Tiles? Is the sound of this single and its B-side (Tower of Sound) representative of your sound?

‘Ceiling Tiles’ fuses keyboard stabs, Basquiat paintings and photons. To exit the Sun, this energy must travel through many layers of the photosphere before it can actually emerge into space as sunlight. Yes, this is our sound.

The concept behind the lyrics for “Ceiling Tiles” is intriguing. Can you explain what’s happening and whether it has a deeper meaning?

The lyrics are about living life unknowingly and questioning how readily we come to see people as characters and life as entertainment. “In a world full of plastic plants, you have to find a way to learn how to dance around security guards in this house made of cards.”

The B-side is interesting. It is a Leonard Cohen song transposed into the Jesus and Mary Chain style. How did you arrive at such a sonic choice?

You can tell from the wide range of musical interests within the band that we don’t shy away from fusing sonic forces.   

Offering the single on vinyl is expensive in the current climate. How important was it for you to return to such a physical way of releasing music?

We like both formats. Vinyl records produce a continuous analogue signal, whereas digital formats produce a series of numerical samples. I like having a physical document of our work. 

Tell us about your forthcoming album – what is it called, what should we expect from this release, and when is it happening?

We are currently mixing our next album with Jagz Kooner (Massive Attack, Primal Scream) at Avebury henge and stone circles – one of prehistoric Britain’s greatest marvels – built 800 years earlier than Stonehenge. The album will be out this year. We just finished mastering the 2nd single. 

You are based in Portland and have signed with Little Cloud Records, who we know from their many other great releases to date. What is it like working with them?

We love Little Cloud Records and are huge fans of their latest releases, such as Elephant Stone, The Dandy Warhols, Asteroid No.4, Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor, Pete International Airport, Magic Shoppe, The Veldt, and Tremours. Mike is a gift to our city and the music community. 

What does the near future hold for the band regarding shows, recording and any other plans?

We are just wrapping up a 5-state West Coast Tour. The show highlights this year have included supporting Dinosaur Jr. for some sold-out shows at Revolution Hall and an at-capacity appearance at Boise’s Treefort Music Fest. We will be at Polaris Hall in May with The Prids, and Lollipop Shoppe in June with Labrys (members of Broncho) and Reptaliens.*We look forward to playing *Shady Pines Festival in July.

Everything Sun Atoms can be found at and – drop in for a sonic hang-out