Album Review: Shadow Work In Technicolor | The Sunset Kings
Updated: Apr 15, 2021
'Shadow Work In Technicolor' opens with a determined voice talking about human connection in an almost extraterrestrial level, beyond reality until the lead vocalist starts rapping and singing over a brief melody of dreamy synths and electric guitar. This is only a taste of what awaits us in the sophomore album of The Sunset Kings.
As soon as 'Metronomin' starts playing, we immediately realize we are dealing with a single here. An instant vibe. Overwhelming with an instrumental that is complete from all sides, filled with everything but without being overproduced at any point. Percussion, synths and the underlying guitar, together with their -spilling all over- reverb, make a majestic, substantial jam to chill to.
'Green St. Skipframe' transfers the listener to an undiscovered island to witness the most beautiful sunset that has ever existed. The track is naked but fulfilling, with bass and vocals floating in a sensual manner enhanced by the lyrics, followed by 'Aftermath' where Star (lead singer) is blasting love, repeating 'Who Do I think I am' in the most heartfelt, honest way.'Aftermath' stands out for the heavy percussion introducing itself in the middle of the track like a power we didn't know we needed.
And then we have 'Play it Safe' which brings a groovy, jazz sound to the surface but without spoiling the character the album has built until now. Somehow this piece showcases the psychedelic side of the Indie Rock band even though many elements of this album break the genre boundaries.
The interlude that follows is a conversation between creators about the emotional state of grief and how it is dealt with. Spoken word is all over this body of work, acting perfectly as an adhesive either in the form of interludes or during the openings/endings of tracks. Personally I felt I was part of a journey, an ongoing story with real dialogue and characters. Objectively, not many albums succeed to take the listener to a space where music is actually more than music, but The Sunset Kings seem to do it effortlessly here.
'In the Mood' is maybe the darkest piece until now with a spectacular performance and beat, reminding us of The Weeknd but with an extra amount of passion. The main protagonist here is Neumi's saxophone that shines brightly during the bridge giving the chills and shaking our emotional world. 'Blue dream' keeps the same atmosphere, dark and intense, with an outstanding electric guitar offering a climax that could only be compared to sex, deeply pleasurable and masterful.
Our trip comes to an end with 'Never Let Me Go', a sensational love song, ideal for closing an album as wandering and mesmerizing as this. The vocal performance comes in multiple overlapping layers, borderline chaotic, creating a high-level stimulation to our ears and heart.
In 'Shadow Work In Technicolor' we experience abstraction and melody, singing and rapping, organic and electronic elements bred together in an excellent mix I would call 'Dream Rock' for the word 'Alternative' is too vague to describe such an ethereal sound. The Sunset Kings made an album hard to pass by, but a contemporary gem that needs to be discovered right now instead.