Tallbird “Sunburn” FULL LENGTH REVIEW


  1. “New Machine”: Before the first synth part hit I thought the whole song was going to in a grunge direction because of the effected angst driven electric guitar. Then Tallbirds reminded me the band was from Brooklyn with the entrance of sampled drums and synthesizers.  The production reminds me a ton of acts you might have found on Jeff Prices label SpinART Records from the 90s such as The Apples In Stereo.  Big fan of this track and looking forward to what is to come for Tallbird!
  2. “Wonderful”: The synth hook sounds like something you’d hear in a travel video or a Warren Miller skiing flick.  It is exciting, ethereal, and uplifting.  The singer speaks questioning her own direction in life and how she feels lost in her current relationship.  All I want to hear after listening to “Wonderful” is more of that lovely synth part.  The second verse the singer strains somewhat and the vocals don’t sound totally powerful also I’m slightly confused about the relationship focused lyrics with the exotic synth combination.  Either way the hook is very strong and the lyrics are easy to relate to as a millennial in the city dating scene.
  3. “Sunburn Sad”: Not totally the name of the album but the song is in line with the rest in terms of lyrical content.  The singers voice seems more fitting to this style, when her melody ascends during the chorus it is both soft and tender and the note seems to come naturally to her.  In all honesty the first time this came across my queue in songs to check out I passed on this, I’m beginning to think that may have been a hasty decision because of how in love this song I am now.  It might have something to do with the sequence in that I listened to “New Machine” and “Wonderful” before really connecting on an emotional level with “Sunburn Sad”.
  4. “Not Just That”: Starting off like a Brett Conti video or any video that sells the illustrious NYC lifestyle to the world.  “Not Just That” is more than a song it is a lifestyle, it is the epicenter of a moment in time and the strongest feelings one lover can feel for another.  It is the pit of your stomach moment that everyone who isn’t devoid of a soul should be able to instantly recognize.
  5. “Sideways”: Starts off with an interesting but familiar new wave chord progression.  The song takes more than just a subtle chord for a left turn, the hook is something I thought reminded me of a hoedown or “Cotton Eyed Joe”.  This song definitely needs to be heard within the context of Sunburn.  The bluegrass electronic choice I think is too much for a first time listener, actually I thoroughly enjoy the progression in which the whole album was laid out which is why I decided to take a free moment in my existence to document the emotional feelings it gave me based on certain arrangement choices.  I think if there were a party tune on the record it is “Sideways” or “Wonderful”.
  6. “Lighter”: This is one of the lighter songs on the record which is a great use of prosody.  The chords are familiar to the rest of the record however Tallbird incorporates a minor four turn around during the build that doesn’t go anywhere until the second build.  “Lighter” is one of the sweeter songs on the record, it is lighthearted, optimistic, and uplifting.
  7. “The Night”:  Thus far in the album the pacing of the songs seems to be very similar from one to the other while the lyrical content is also very similar.  “The Night” listens like the growing pains of something I was forced to do in Los Angeles which was to move in my significant other right off the bat to stay afloat with ever increasing rent prices with wages that don’t seem to keep pace.   Heartache is definitely a theme throughout the lyrics in Sunburn.

I’d recommend Sunburn for anyone who is a fan of 80’s nostalgic pop with a modern washed out vibe that is familiar and new at the same time.  I’m not totally sure why but I think Stranger Things when I hear Tallbird.  I’m really looking forward to what comes from this group!  Very inspired.

About IAN MCFARLAND 418 Articles
Musician releasing music under self created record label

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