Staffordshire’s Epic 45’s “Sun Memory”, a 6-track EP, was released on 24th May 2019, on Wayside & Woodland Recordings . Strangely enough, and especially considering its beauty, I have not seen any promotion or sharing for it in my musical network! It is even harder when you try googling the EP. It just goes to show that how much amazing music just passes under the radar! I was preparing a playlist for a forthcoming broadcast I am doing on DKFM radio, and just skimming through Spotify suggestions which are normally quite remote from what I really look for. Out of maybe 250 misses, this one immediately caught my attention. On first hearing “Sun memory II“, initially sounded like another Slowdive dupe, but there were elements to it that made it stand out: something about that echoey jangle, the subtle chord-dives and swerves, the ephemeral, almost translucent layers of Rose Berlin’s voice. After a few listens, I couldn’t get the thing out of my head. “Sun Memory II” is the embodiment of bittersweet: like closing your eyes to shield yourself from overwhelming bliss and sunlight but at the same time tears shimmer through your lashes. The frosting on this splendid new “Sun Memory” rendition (an alternative version of the original that was on the “Through Broken Summer” album from last year), are the vocals of SPC Eco singer, Rose Berlin, and the added synth textures from her dad Dean Garcia (Curve)”.
Listening to Sun Memory EP is like looking at a collection of Turner paintings, or experiencing the concept of Komorebi (Japanese word for “sunlight shining through the leaves“). Epic 45 members Ben Holton and Rob Glover themselves say: “the songs on this collection are a paean to youthful summers spent in deep countryside or on the Welsh coast, early tape recording experiments on quiet afternoons, memories of Grandparents’ houses and daydreaming on long car journeys.”
“Kaleidoscope Days” should have been part of the soundtrack to Peter Weir‘s “Picnic at Hanging Rock” movie from 1975: starting off quite innocently and pastoral, but gradually meandering into something quite eerie and psychedelic with distorted whispers of wood-sprites and ominous synths. Track “Penarth” (originally intended to be featured on Through Broken Summer), is featured twice on the EP. The first is a faded snapshot of a day at the sea-side: rippling calmly, gently lapping, like sun-glistening waves. The second is a dream-like, ambient reinterpretation by Antony Harding from July Skies, who also contributed organ and synth layers to the dewy, impressionistic “Carnival ‘88“. “Afternoon Sun Dissolves” sounds like waking up to a bright day, blinded by the sun-rays when you open the curtains: an aftermath of a late night party… the beats still thumping and oscillating in the back of your mind like the phantoms of a persistent high.
“This EP acts as both a consolidation of previous concerns and a partial signifier to the next phase“ : to be continued….