Sunspots - Sunspots (Cover Artwork)


Sunspots (2015)


The self-titled full length debut from the Edmonton, Alberta trio Sunspots fits nicely within the recent emo revival trend and contains a level of maturity that might be unexpected from a bunch of 20 year olds from the Dirt City. The ten tracks on Sunspots is reminiscent of that familiar emo sound (e.g. American Football, My Heart to Joy, Cap’n Jazz), while still managing to produce something interesting and uniquely its own. Throughout the LP, listeners are treated to complex guitar noodling (listen to the outro in “So It Goes”), a solid rhythm section that is the backbone of the record (see “Tidal Fight”), and duo vocals. The back and forth vocals on Sunspots are the album’s greatest quality (scope “Dead Season” and “Rough House”) which are further illustrated by introspective and thoughtful lyrics that one would expect from any good emo band.

The album starts off with an absolute banger, aptly titled “One”. Sunspots put their best foot forward with one of the best tracks on the album. The track begins slowly with some nice rhythm parts and guitar harmonics before busting into d-beat drums and accompanying guitar and bass. “Rough House” and “Dead Season” are chalked full of interesting guitar leads, back and forth vocals, and rocking instrumental sections that make them some of the better tracks on this record. “So It Goes” begins with a real slick bassline before moving into a mid-tempo section that includes some quick, rhythmic parts and some solid harmonic driven guitar leads. The last song “Tidal Fight” is one of the slower tracks found on Sunspots and fits well as a closing track to the album. It includes a mid-song build up that leads into the outro as the vocalist declares “One day we’ll get better weather/ finally I can shred this extra layer”. Lyrically, the track seems to acknowledge the need to grow as person while stuck in the cold prairie winters that can make it hard to shed your skin. Musically and thematically, “Tidal Fight” is something you could expect to be influenced by Title Fight’s 2011 album Shed , which is also a strong influence throughout this record.

For their first record, Sunspots have managed to produce series of songs that acknowledges their influences, while still adding their own twist to the genre. It will be interesting to see how Sunspot’s music grows and matures in the coming years as they do.