The Sunset Kings – “Never Let Me Go” – Single Review
It’s always tougher to pass some sort of judgment on something that’s new.
While there are certainly similarities you can cite in the sound of The Sunset Kings at times, really, they’re breaking ground with a new hybrid combination of stylistic vibes built on poetic ideas & artistic design. Mind you, looks like they’ve been rockin’ strong for several years now, with a whole bunch of music released online since 2018 from singles to records – and according to the bio online, the actual history of The Sunset Kings traces back even further to around 2012 somewhere if I’m reading all this info right. As they continue to dial into their own signature sound – we’ve got a single sliced from their latest record in 2020 called Shadow Work In Technicolor – and I suspect you’ll like what we find here.
From the highly invitational way it starts out sounding like audible sunshine, you get that instant hit of a genuinely pleasant aura from The Sunset Kings as “Never Let Me Go” begins…ain’t no doubt that what you’re hearing right from the drop is as welcoming as music can potentially get. From there, you’ll find that the personality & character within this band and they’re inherently uplifting spirit continues to display itself through a variety of soulful means & methods. They’ve got an array of cleverness that gets revealed through the insightful guitar notes chiming in, the saxophone pouring out its emotional sound, the smart additions made to the atmosphere along the way and the placement of the backing vocals – everything stacks up with radiant vibes that absolutely seem like they’ve been created for all to enjoy.
Ultimately…I really don’t have any substantial complaints – I like what I hear in the sound, and I like what I feel in the spirit of this band even more. I think there probably is space for a bit more clarity in the mix at the song’s most intense & full, separating those layers in production just a lil’ to increase the impact each element makes on us as listeners…but again, it’s hard to say in just one sample of a single – The Sunset Kings might have had the full intention of creating a colorful collage of sound with “Never Let Me Go” at points, and if that’s the case, then bang-on, you dig? Listening to it on a structural level, to me that seems like the intended design – and it’s not that you don’t get moments of crystal clarity, you’ll find plenty along the way as the dynamics of the music work their magic – but I’d imagine they wanted this song to flow into the colorful swirl it presents when everything is in the mix at once. There’s no denying that it creates a genuine uniqueness that they can proudly call their own, the ideas are strong – we’re not talking about anything that the back & forth between a few knobs on the studio boards wouldn’t solve in a snap, again, if that’s what they wanted to do. Objectively, I can hear a few moments in “Never Let Me Go” that reach beyond what the average everyday listener can absorb, even as chilled out & inviting as the whole sound truly IS…they’ve got a slick complexity working for them in the sense that the listeners out there seeking more out of their music will love what they discover in The Sunset Kings – but the flipside of that coin is that anything slightly different always takes a bit longer to fully catch on with the masses. My advice to The Sunset Kings is to simply stay the course – they’re clearly onto something verifiably special here…you can hear that in “Never Let Me Go” unmistakably, and your ears have no problem at all confirming the passion & sincere interest exists in all facets of their music.
That includes the insightfully sweet & innovative lyricism…that includes the stunningly heartfelt vocals, the sensational saxophone tones, the stellar bass-lines…The Sunset Kings have all the right pieces to carve out their own place within music. “An American Indie-Rock band in the post-Frank Ocean era” might very well go down as one of the best descriptions of a band that I’ve ever read…I don’t know exactly that I’d describe this particular song as that with its soulful Pop/R&B blend goin’ on – but I’m sure as an overall snapshot of what they’re goin’ for with their vision for the sound of The Sunset Kings, that’ll do quite nicely. You hear the vocals and you certainly understand the latter-half of the quote for sure – The Sunset Kings have a pure asset up front on the mic…the music makes a remarkable impact on us as well without question, but the sweet melody & technique in the vocals is like true audible candy for your ears and food for the soul at the very same time. Lyrically, they’ve done an exceptional job of examining the push/pull of love and wanting it to last longer, if only even for a night…just be careful on that mix homies…in a band that describes itself with the poetic aspect as a feature of the sound, I’m just sayin’ we wanna make sure each and every word comes across & resonates just as strongly as the vibe itself does. Like I said, for the vast majority, you’ll have no problem at all digging right into the audible sunshine that The Sunset Kings generate on “Never Let Me Go”…it’s only at the most involved moments where things begin to swirl together slightly into a full-on collage…but along the way in between, you’ll find plenty of gorgeous sound and sentiment to love, and an endlessly inviting vibe that warms you up.
Listen to more music by The Sunset Kings at Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7IQaiDgiF6DjmhJhr6w9zl
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