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J Sun of Sun Atoms – Photo Credit: Heather Boyd
Sun Atoms is the debut solo project from Portland, Oregon’s Jsun Atoms (The Upsidedown, Daydream Machine). His 8-song album, Let There Be Light, will shine on October 1st via Little Cloud Records in the US and The Acid Test Recordings in Europe.
The LP was produced by The Dandy Warhols’ guitar pedal maestro Peter Holmström and mixed by London’s legendary Stephen Street (Blur, The Smiths, The Cranberries).
JSun Atoms spent the pandemic year in the studio with long time collaborator, Holmström, crafting the songs and sending files back and forth from London, Brooklyn, Austin, and Sacramento. The vision comes from the sun being at what is thought of as the center of our solar system, but the sun, like other stars, is a ball of gas. At the center of the ‘Sun,’ musical atoms under intense pressure from gravity undergo a process.
This album is the resulting amalgamation that combines psychedelic, darkwave, and post-modern pop, with some first-rate guest performances including the leader of Brooklyn’s The Vandelles, Jasno Swarez, producer Peter Holmström (Pete International Airport, The Dandy Warhols), Gregg Williams (Sheryl Crow, Blitzen Trapper), St. Louis beat boss drummer Bob Mild, and Sacramento punks Pets, to name a few.
The genres bend and blend from song to song through such luminary influences as Love and Rockets, Moon Duo, The Cure, Nick Cave, Spiritualized, and Leonard Cohen.
Album opener “The Cat’s Eye” is a kaleidoscopic collaboration with The Black Angels’ Alex Maas on captivatiing vocals and haunting Mellotron. The single also features The Vandelles’ Jasno Swarez adding an innovative third vocal line and guitar, and Sheryl Crow drummer Gregg Williams’ percussive flurries on hand drums and congas.
Big Takeover is pleased to host the premiere of the absorbing illustrated music video for the mesmerizing and noir “The Cat’s Eye” today.
The storytelling video is from Rome, Italy’s award-winning filmmaker Susanna Della Sala. It unfurls like a graphic novel, following a young woman filled with curiousity about how the world works… or maybe about how the inner mind operates… Is her search one that is an outward journey or a voyage within the hidden psyche?
Jsun reveals some details about how the collaboration with The Black Angels’ Alex Maas came about, stating:
“Alex and I first met when our bands were supporting Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in 2007. Alex and Christian invited my band to Austin to play the debut Levitation Festival, as it used to be held the weekend prior to SXSW.”
“Alex and I hit it off and we played music at the Angels’ practice space after all the after parties, Alex allowed me to sleep in his giant closet space in his room each spring as we returned to play the following Levitation Festival, and the next three years of SXSW. It was a huge closet and it was dark during the day, which was perfect for recovering from all that Austin had to offer, especially playing the after parties with friends like The Warlocks and Spindrift that were also staying at the Black Angels house during those times.”
“We have continued to play many shows together. Alex and I have shared early versions of songs with each other over the years. When Alex sent me some mixes of his critically acclaimed solo album Luca, I reciprocated with some early Sun Atoms mixes and he replied that he loved “The Cat’s Eye” and had some ideas for it.”
“We were taking a break from mixing because Gorillaz were using Stephen Street’s studio in London and when we came back to mix, Alex had sent this beautiful vocal chorus which worked well with Pete’s “Here Come The Warm Jets” guitar freak out. Alex said that the song was begging for the Mellotron flute lead which definitely took the song to a new level.”
“The Cat’s Eye” featuring The Black Angels’ Alex Maas is the second single off Sun Atoms’ upcoming full length LP Let There Be Light.
Pre-Order the album at Little Cloud Records and The Acid Test Recordings
9/22 – 9/26 – Boise, ID – Treefort Music Fest
10/22 – Star Theater – Portland, OR
10/23 – Lo-Fi Performance Gallery – Seattle, WA