Sun Airway

Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier

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AllMusic Review by

The dreamy psych-pop Sun Airway purveys on Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier lives up to the album title: awash in glittering keyboards and guitars, everything sparkles. The band’s effervescent sound hovers somewhere in between the Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev's lush pocket symphonies and Phoenix's impeccable style. Throughout the album, Sun Airway are abuzz with new love, or perhaps something more chemical: “I looked over and saw you floatin’ next to me,” Jon Barthmus sings on the opening track, “Infinity,” as shimmering electronics and found sounds spiral around him. There’s a rasp in his voice that, strangely, sounds a little like Julian Casablancas on “Oh, Naoko” and “Waiting on You,” adding a pleasing contrast not just to the gossamer sounds around him but to earnest lyrics like “I’m just looking for a perfect sentence to keep us alive.” While listeners’ ears have plenty of sounds to explore here, Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier also features surprisingly strong songwriting, particularly when sadder moments penetrate the album’s mostly euphoric haze. “Shared Piano” mourns a lost love and, at the same time, celebrates the memories of music made together; “Put the Days Away”'s yearning drifts on waves of rippling harps and countless other sounds. From song to song, Sun Airway's approach is very similar on Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier, giving the impression of one long trip. At times, it almost feels like too much at once, but the band’s music is so buoyant that to bring it down to earth too much would be a shame.

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