Bear with me when I try to explain The Sun Burns Bright.
The Sun Burns Bright is a solo project from Chris Garr, of Birmingham, England. It is also a Coastlands side-project.
Garr contacted Coastlands guitarist Jason Sissoyev when he was writing this album, just discussing music in general. The two became pen pals, trading recordings back and forth as they collaboratively wrote an album over the course of 6-8 months. Coastlands drummer Richard Keefer added his beats, and then other Coastlands guitarist Jordan Patrick created the album art.
So we have a trans-Atlantic collaborative solo side project. Got it?
Through Dusk, Came The Light is an exercise in serenity. Tranquil notes, picked with care and precision.
As one has come to expect from the genre, there are serene passages, later with added percussion, which crescendos later in the piece, only to return to the calm soon after. It’s post-rock by numbers, but that isn’t always a bad thing. We find comfort in the familiar, and the warm tones found within Through Dusk, Came The Light only add to that homely feeling.
It’s a beautifully recorded album written with deliberate, exact notes and gorgeous tones. Which is surprising when you consider how it was recorded. That is, on iPads.
Now I know that most serious musos use Mac computers. I’m not a serious musician, so I couldn’t tell you why. But as a teacher, I’ve got very strong opinions about iPads. They’re cameras that don’t capture an image as well as a cheap point and shoot, computers with less functionality than a laptop, and overall horrible devices that create addicts of children in the name of “education”.
I can’t ever see myself changing my mind on this argument. But I cannot argue with the results here. This record sounds great. You won’t ever find me advocating for the use of iPads, but if Garr can create an incredible album like this through the use of Garageband and an iPad then I’ll accept that they have their uses.
Garr proves more then adept on guitar and composition. He explores aural textures with dynamic awareness and subtle layering. And Keefer’s deft drumming perfectly complements the music, adding thunderous energy without overpowering.
Through Dusk, Came The Light takes the listener on a journey. From the epic climax of album opener “The Glass Is Always Full”, to the sweet melody of “Never Departing Shadow”, past the grandiose “Sky, Wand and Waves” to the sweeping solos of “Home Is Not A Place, It’s A Person”, to the final glitch infused pads of “Silhouette In The Shade”, this is an album that continually moves forward and treads the path of beauty.
The Sun Burns Bright isn’t the most original. But nor is it a tired imitation. It’s a solid début that appears to have already earned Garr a decent following from what I see online. And those fans have a lot to look forward – Garr is already working on album no. three, before even releasing his second one!
The Sun Burns Bright links:
Youtube album link: https://youtu.be/JoDhgwX7CsU
Update April 2022: Chris Garr has asked me to clarify that this wasn’t actually a Coastlands project. Garr wrote the album and The Sun Burns Bright is his project, he just had some of the guys from Coastlands help to record it. He has since had a rotating roster of other musicians help to record ensuing records. I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to mislead anyone when I wrote this, I was more focused on making my writing entertaining to read.