“Sun Leads Me On” was certainly released at the perfect time. Being the musical equivalent of a warm hug from a friendly bear means it can raise the spirits of anyone who hears it all the way through Winter. From the moment the absolutely gorgeous flute tone of “Warmest Regards” starts, a sense of overwhelming euphoria washes over the listener like a wave of thick marijuana smoke. It becomes transfixing as it ascends above its own hazy fog during lucid moments in which horns andstrings take the reins.
The driving acoustic guitars and soulful harmonies of “I Can’t Figure out what’s Going On” feel somewhat out of place behind Devon Porteilje sinisterly singing about poisoning all his friends. The primarily electronic “Consider Yourself” is one of the more distant and cold songs on the album, and actually my least favourite, substituting syrupy strings and acoustic guitars for rigid piano and distortion. Fortunately it’s followed by the stellar “Hands in the Garden”, one of the brightest songs I’ve heard this year, with the main lyrical refrain being “I never thought I could be this happy”.
“Turn Your Love” is a perfect example of how to make electronically tinged music personal and intimate. The Fleet Foxes-esque harmonies are simply exquisite on this track. It falls down somewhat at the chorus where it incorporates a more distorted guitar and somewhat ruins the enclosed feeling of the verses. Once again any faults are redeemed by another acoustically driven track “Narrow Margins”, which may be more sinister in tone than previous tracks, but maintains its charm through temperate keyboard and string instruments.
The title track is another optimistic track that I find myself captivated by. It encapsulates all the nuanced emotion this album has to offer. However I can’t help but feel that for every heartwarming acoustic serenade, there is a less connected, bleak throwaway track.
It’s certainly the perfect album to lift the spirits of anyone who listens to it, and that in itself is admirable. Despite it having a fair number of tracks that I can’t find myself involved in, I’d say it’s worth downloading for yourself.