Album review: Sunsleeper – While You Can

Salt Lake City alt.rockers Sunsleeper highlight the importance of presence on glistening second album…

Album review: Sunsleeper – While You Can
James Hingle

While You Can conveys a simple message: be present. Sunsleeper use their second album to disregard the ebb and flow of mundanity, and to embrace the here and now, all the while basking in the ambience of ’90s alt.rock melancholy.

The Salt Lake City outfit's latest offering encapsulates what it’s like being in a band in 2022, with themes taking in substance abuse, the journey to reach fulfilment and the pigeonholing that can come when releasing new music. It’s wrapped up in a 10-track record soaring with dreamy heights, soaring melodies and a concoction of emo-meets-indie twangs.

Where 2019’s You Can Miss Something & Not Want It Back laid the foundations for Sunsleeper to explore their craft deeper, here we find a band really coming into their own, accepting their sound and levelling up on their craftsmanship.

Opener Porch Light whisks you away into a dream-like state with its echoey riffs that pull you into their world. The band walk the fine line between delicate, soft tones and sonically towering fuzz, with In The Clouds and Feel What You Can firing up more feral, yet occasionally cautious moments. The latter provides the title for the album with the lyrics, ‘Feel what you can while you can,’ cementing the importance of enjoying the precious moments we have in this short time on this floating space rock.

It all comes to a crescendo with the five-minute closer Thief, which feels like a nostalgic trip with jangly guitars reminiscent of ’90s shoegaze, but with the rugged undertones of early emo. It’s the sort of thing you’d play to see out the dying days of summer, and it leaves the listener re-emerging from this record feeling uplifted by its ability to keep you fixated on its wave of pure, unfiltered fuzz.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Pale Waves, Jimmy Eat World, Sunny Day Real Estate

While You Can is released on October 7 via Rude

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