If “Starlight” alone wasn’t reason enough to convince you why Boston-based Stains of a Sunflower should be your new favorite band then I’m not sure that what we type here will convince you otherwise. But we’ll try regardless! Let’s start with some truths about Stains of a Sunflower: Their bluesy/folk brand of Pop Rawk is wholly original, the EP was produced by the drummer of Motherboar (Not relevant to their overall sound, just cool to know), and within their ranks is someone who goes by the name of “Shade”. If the aforementioned song didn’t do the trick then surely those nuggets should entice you to take a closer listen. Still with us? Then all aboard!
But I digress.
“Starlight” IS the perfect opener for this EP! Beginning with Natalie Renee’s subdued approach and Alex Michael Jones’ gentle riffing before unleashing the power of the full band as Renee just goes for it with a throaty, blues-filled delivery.
Speaking of blues, “Lindsey” is all sultry and smoky as Renee croons with Dan Soghomonian putting in some Les Claypool bounce bass lines alongside Shade Tramp’s (Shade!) pounded grooves until Renee just goes for it (See a pattern here?) with this Joplin-esque wail that is simply exquisite.
“Drip Drop” is where it’s at, though. With the subtle Jones-led acoustic guitar embellishes to start building into this huge anthem and when Renee’s voice breaks ever so slightly on those “Drip Droooooop” bits? Serenity! At times the track is reminiscent of Our Lady Peace at their very anthemic best while others it’s like Guster fronted by Alanis Morissette keeping the playful aspects of that other Boston band while still retaining a power and intensity vocally. Then the tune goes right off the rails, becoming a classical piano number and subtly segueing nicely into the next track.
Okay, the tune is just epic. Can you imagine it in a live setting? Luckily for us, they’re on tour soon (See way below and a cool poster announcing it by Sam Paolini).
That segue we were just raving about goes into “Black Heart” which ALSO owns. It’s a piano-driven crooner which not only gets better with repeated listens but also gets better as you get deeper into the song. And sweet jeebus that conclusion! Renee screaming, wailing guitar solos, and Tramp’s drumming moving in and out of the forefront yet keeping perfect synchronicity throughout heralding a perfect conclusion to an unforgettable EP.
Stains of a Sunflower is out now through Bandcamp! You can get yours here and also head here for all the streaming options available. For more on the band, including where to catch them next, head here or check out the pic below.