Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this evening’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Sonder, an indie rock trio based out of Huntington Beach, California. They came together earlier this year in May and released their three track debut EP a month later on June 1. Thus, Sonder has certainly come out of the gate guns blazing. That EP, entitled ‘Safely In My Loveseat,’ is available now to stream. Is it worth your time, though? Let’s explore the three new tunes and find out.
The EP opens up with its titular track, a melodic indie rock endeavor chock-full of atmosphere and instrumental prowess. For an album that was written, recorded, produced, and released in one month, the production quality of ‘Safely In My Loveseat’ immediately trumps the majority of music that comes across my desk. The opening track has it all: infectious lyricism, 1960s-esque rock musings and hand claps, and a searing electric guitar performance. ‘Safely In My Loveseat’ is a dynamic piece that exudes personality - arguably one of the most valuable assets to any musical act.
‘The Catch’ continues Sonder’s love affair with pop sensibilities. Their lyricism is particularly solid, but it’s also elegantly combined with accessible soundscapes of beautiful harmonies and musical camaraderie. For a band that just got together off of Craigslist, the music chemistry is undeniably intriguing. Sonder sent me their music after seeing that I adore The Beatles. ‘The Catch’ explains that, because there’s a clear lineage to the fab four exhibited throughout the tune.
The closing piece of the EP, ‘A Dixie Cup To Save You,’ does a nice job fleshing out the trio’s diversity in the final moments of their debut EP. This brooding track is notably lovely, and the incorporation of synthesized string sections bantering with the bass and electric guitar is fantastic. There’s a parallel to be drawn between ‘A Dixie Cup To Save You’ and the kind of music Saddle Creek Records has become known for releasing. Sonder is right in line with Neva Dinova or Big Thief, which is a high compliment.
This is an EP very much worth the time of any indie rock fan. Sonder has chemistry and talent, and that’s more than can be said for the vast majority of acts I see every single day. ‘Safely In My Loveseat’ is indicative of a band going to some exciting places worth keeping tabs on.