Due to a slight bit of confusion, I spent a lot of time with This City Called Earth‘s first, self-titled EP. I found out, after studying its various intricacies and buttery little nooks and crannies, that the EP is from 2013. I was actually supposed to review Sunlight_. Fortunately, this isn’t a problem, because they’re both very, very good.
In my quest to emulate what would be considered a professional music “journalist,” I thought the best approach would be to lie and say I did this on purpose; I’d make up some story about how I had to listen to This City Called Earth’s back catalogue to really get it. But that’s just not true. Sunlight_ is a great point of entry in its own right. It’s accessible without being watered-down, and in a lot of ways, it’s more complex and mature than This City Called Earth’s first EP. It kind of threw me for a loop to see that the two came only two years apart.
I should say this before we go any further: Sunlight_ is very “post rock.” TCCE is very interested in building soundscapes and letting ideas come to fruition, bathing in washes of sound and melody for as long as they need to, oftentimes a far cry from the Ritalin-fueled jumpiness of some other bands with the “math” label on their resumés.
“But this is Fecking Bahamas,” you cry. “Where’s my noodling?”
Don’t fret, little one. It’s all there.
But, if you’ve got a lot of Caspian-minded friends, who presumably sit around smoking cigarettes and waiting for crescendos wearing tight black t-shirts (sorry if that hits too close to home), Sunlight_ will be their ticket into the mathy depths. Layered, complex riffs gallop across competing drumbeats, sandwiched between long, melodic passages, but never set foot into the dark woods of being “filmic” that a lot of post rockers find themselves lost in. This is a record, first and foremost, and it demands to be treated like one.
At a scant 23 minutes, Sunlight_ is post rock in short form. This City Called Earth has taken the multi-course meal and boiled it into a thick reduction. It’s the emotional journey you’re used to, for sure, but condensed into a package one-third the size.
Math Rock, Post Rock, Shoegaze, Drone, Post Hardcore, Vocals, Ethereal, Dreamy