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Philadelphia outfit, Sunny Day In Glasgow, have been absent for a few years due to various line-up changes and core member Ben Daniels moving to Sydney in 2009. Sea When Absent is the Sunny Day In Glasgow’s first record to have a full band contributing instead of Daniels and Meakim playing all of the instruments. It is also the first time that the outfit have shied away from relying heavily on reverb for the bands sound.

The driving force behind the band may have always been the writing of Daniels, but it is the girl group melodies and bursting through a sonic smog vocals of Annie Fredrickson and Jen Gore that is the greatest talking point of this six-piece collective. Sea When Absent is nowhere near as aggressive as previous albums appearing to focus more on the pop elements of the songs, rather than the sonic wall they have been buried under.

Sea When Absent sounds at times like The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart on downers as guitars cascade over turbulent drumming. Crushin‘ is probably the most laidback moment of the album as the vocalists weave words around each other to a steady beat. It is this and the bright The Body, It Bends that are the high points. Double Dutch chimes it at just over a minute and is a brooding slice of electronic pop that descends into nervous laughing at not a frenetic tune about skipping as the title would suggest.

Sunny Day In Glasgow build on their shoegaze roots to create a record that whilst borrowing from a past era, adds to more tricks to the bands knapsack. Sea When Absent gets better with each listen as the layers peel away like an onion.

3.5 stars


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