Sunday 5 May 2013


Ah yeah I like these vibes a lot. Perfect name. Now here's something I can seriously get on board with - Suburban Living. My my, if there's anybody who knows about suburban living it's a man from the suburbs (still IN the damn suburbs). But I can imagine that an all-American, apple-pie, movie-soundtrack suburb is rather different from this English suburb by the Thames. This music actually doesn't really fit here. Round here it's garage. That's the soundtrack for this place. Pretend-you're-urban kind of thing you know. But ENOUGH. This ain't about me.

This is about, as I said, Suburban Living - the musical moniker for the real world person, Wesley Bunch (pictured above). So yeah maybe it's all the American culture that we absorb absent-mindedly over here, but there seems to be this borrowed nostalgia around the sun-drenched American suburbs of yesteryear, a lived-in feeling that makes us yearn for a dream that we never had about an ephemeral place to which we've never been. Ah yes. All those yesterdays we never had. Ahem.

It's that kind of feeling that this song, 'Always Eyes', evokes. Yeah with its jangle-echoing guitars that seem lighter than air and the thin reverbed vocals, it's pretty and ambient, driven along by brash 80s-style drums. Delicate synths clothe the verse of the song like water on oil. But it's synths that make the chorus fun. It's down to these that give the chorus its catchy vocal hook that belies its touching lyrical content, such as, "Why did I wait, why did I wait for you, why did I waste my time?" The breakdown at like the start of the last quarter of the song is great - joyful - complete with epic drum rolls.

Lovely isn't it? Well nice. This song comes as Mr Bunch's latest release off the back off the tantalisingly named Cooper's Dream EP. And yes, it was inspired - in part at least - by the indefatigable cult TV series Twin Peaks. Ah Cooper, you and your zany ways.

From first song - honest, light-diatribe of 'I Don't Fit In' - it's an outing that, if you like 'Always Eyes', you'll enjoy quite a lot I can imagine. Stop-start hi-hats and acrobatic bass in 'Give Up' lead up to its climax washed with guitar distortion, whilst 'Prom' is a synth-fest of 80s proportions, punchy drum machines below simmering synths. 'Float In Clouds' gallops along, stopping for the verse where space in the sound and occasional guitar strums do float on air, then gallops onward. The ballad of title track 'Cooper's Dream' is spookily reminiscent of Twin Peaks in its sound; slower than the others and somewhat more emotive because of this reason, it could be the best track. Maybe I'm biased. Have a listen.

Dream pop, thy name is Suburban Living.

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