Photos: Matthew John Benton
Some scientists say that smell is the sense most connected to memory, and with good reason. We've all experienced something akin to catching a waft of freshly cut grass on the breeze and suddenly being transported back to playing in your grandparents' yard on a bright June day in the '90s. While you won't get the same effect from smelling the record (well, I don't know, maybe you're just weird like that), Sure Sure's EP What's It Like? evokes a similar sense of nostalgia via its carefully crafted soundscapes, all while maintaining a distinctly fresh feel.
The Los Angeles-based four-piece, who writes, records, engineers, and mixes all of its songs from its home studio, utilizes a wide range of tactics to generate the pleasantly retro feel on What's It Like?. Exhibit A: the opening track, "Good Thing." The dreamy tide of piano stabs that propels the song from beginning to end immediately has you wanting to dig up your old rose-colored glasses and mohair suit to fly with Bennie and the Jets. Alternately, "Warm Animals" utilizes technicolor group vocals and shimmery guitar that feels like the soundtrack to high school beach trips with your friends.
While Sure Sure has perfected the ability to evoke memories via its instrumentation and arrangements, make no mistake - each one of their songs carries an exhilarating newness. For example, the EP's title track blends rhythmic funk guitar with bubbly synths to curate a refreshing twist on modern indie music. The group also integrates unequivocally current topics into their lyrics. On "Out of My Element," singer Chris Beachy's airy tenor identifies a struggle for self-acceptance, effortlessly crooning, "What am I supposed to do/ It's gonna kill me soon/ I wanna love you/ I wanna love me, too." Regarding the songwriting process for the album, the band elaborates,
"We wrote and recorded this EP in between the wild adventures of four tours over the past year. The songs are some of our most ambitious yet, and we all tried to push each other on our songwriting and performances. The EP is a snapshot of our lives - every song is quite personal for us."
Truly, the band has been busy - among headline tour dates, the group has hit the road with established indie players like Young the Giant, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, and Hippo Campus, demonstrating to audiences all across the country its unique ability to be classic and innovative simultaneously.
In a sense, Sure Sure's latest feels like a heart-to-heart with your oldest friend; comforting, familiar, but leaving you with a new sense of purpose and a refined outlook on the future.
Take an exclusive first listen to What's It Like below: