Recently, my contribution to the Aarhus’s music scene has sadly been lacking. The concerts seen were too few and the listening too little. However, as work winds down, I can sit back, relax and enjoy the lovely selections Aarhus has to offer.
I heard about Turquoise Sun through a friend living with a band member (isn’t that the way it always goes with small town musicians, everyone knows someone), and liked the concept, a modern classic, acid-rock jam band with heavy influence from Tame Impala.
A quick YouTube search will reveal the psychedelic video to their song “To Beat or not to Beat” which, for less observant, is a Shakespearian pun. Before watching this video I recommend you come down from whatever hallucinogenic substances you may be tripping on because this video is a trip within itself. Vibrant hues of purple and neon green beaches overlay darting silhouettes of the band. Needless to say, it’s not for the feint of mind (or epileptic).
The band recently released their first EP, a collection of four songs that aim to highlight the essence and potentials of their musical and song writing ability.
The first song, the previously mentioned single “to Beat or Not to Beat”, in my opinion is the best of the bunch. It begins, like many of their songs, with an intro of bass lines and synthesiser sounds. These bubbling, popping synths are a common theme throughout the EP and makes the novice synth player in myself wonder with awe, “How did they get those sounds?” The use of the synth in Turquoise Sun takes the place the organ in many 70s bands, but with a modern twist. The vocal harmonies are silky and the music has a bit of a Broken Bells vibe.
One major fall-back of the EP is that the sound is too clean, and in a strange way, too produced. When there were some really great moments in the music, the mix made it feel more flat than it should. The drum fills, which had the potential to be driving flails of toms, were too low and compressed, coming off as thumps instead of booms. I’d imagine that live, this band would be fantastic to watch, with the hard creative jams and unrestricted drums not found in the final recordings.
The second track “Tunnel Vision”, once again begins with a synth and bass intro, before opening on a very 70’s style song heavily influenced by Cream, and Santana. There’s even a hint of the little known 70s band Fuzzy Duck (a rewarding hidden gem). Eventually the song breaks into a complex repetitive loop for the last few minutes. With vocal “aahhs” and rhythmic toms the song evokes a toned down version of Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion.
“Play with us” is the most straightforward pop, radio friendly song in the collection. It’s fun, but lacks the emotion and creativity in the rest of the EP. Dare I say, but it sounds like something I’ve heard before. Unfortunately, the lack of novelty isn’t pushing that dopamine rush we crave when we hear new songs.
I can understand why they kept the song in the EP because it flow’s quite seamlessly into the next song “I Got Time”. Here’s where the acid rock really kicks in, with a banging two and a half-minute jam before any vocals begin. With suspended synths and heavy, delayed guitar, the tune drifts in and out of builds and teases forecasting the potential a powerful energetic soul song. The vocals kick with a dreamy laid-back grip lurching the ballad forward, ultimately climaxing in a flurry of cymbals wah-wah pedals and arpeggiators.
Ultimately, this is a good EP and there’s a lot of potential, But unfortunately too much gets lost in the mix. There’s not enough of that Oomph factor that I need, especially while listening to psychedelic rock. However, the writing is solid and the tunes are good; definitely worth a listen. So enjoy, dance, take whatever substances your heart desires and check out Turquoise Sun, you won’t regret it.
Check them out live on Friday, May 15th at Double Rainbow.
Ultimately, this is a good EP and there’s a lot of potential, But unfortunately too much gets lost in the mix. However, the writing is solid and the tunes are good; definitely worth a listen.