Sunfruits’ debut has been long simmering, but its arrival comes just in time to tame 2023. The record is a packed bag of summertime psych-pop glazed with layered harmonies and dayglo charms. The band laid the grounds for the record with a few EPs, cropping up on a split single with Noodle House before Certified Organic and Mushroom Kingdom began scraping out the shape of One Degree. Both EPs leaned a bit heavier into the shaggy Aussie psychedelics, so the album comes with a bit of a polish-up for those who’ve had the band in the headphones for the last few years. They wear the shine well, though, aiming for the audiences that are already hooked on stadium-fillers like Temples, Hookworms, or Unknown Mortal Orchestra while taking the time to indulge a few deeper dives for the longer-tenure psych-pop softies in the room.
The band digs in quite nicely to a strain of Britpop that’s not really weaving its way into the fabric these days. “Better Off Dead” and “Reeling” in particular suture their structures to the baggy headswim of Stone Roses or Screamadelica-era Primals. If the band solely leaned into ‘90s revivalism, the album might not have landed with such grace. Quite to the contrary, they work a patchwork pulse through the album, stringing their soft spots together with silk thread. ‘60s sunshine psych harmonies slide against the satin stomp of glam, the hedonistic throb of ‘90s rave-pop crossover crops up, as does the indie-psych smile of the early aughts. On more than a few occasions, the hallmark that comes to mind is Super Furry Animals. Much like their Welsh counterparts, the band is able to pull together their disparate passions into an album that waxes and wanes, weaves and wobbles along the pop path with a wink and a smile. Sunfruits pull the album off with the confidence of a band that knows its about to throw the listener hairline over hump into the kaleidoscope having mapped out the patterns perfectly along the way.
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