Season Sun

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Season Sun is the woozy, sunlit debut LP from Gulp, a side project of Super Furry Animals bassist Guto Pryce and his wife Lindsey Leven. While taking cues from a variety of sources, Gulp seems to live most comfortably in that stylized warm/cool world of chittering guitars and vintage Farfisa organs that Stereolab pioneered throughout the '90s. There's a pleasing, gentle psychedelic patina to the album's ten songs over which Leven lends her airy, charismatic voice, which at times evokes Alison Goldfrapp's elegant purr and Vashti Bunyan's dulcet whisper. Songs like the optimistic and low-key anthem "Let's Grow" and the lazily experimental "Hot Water" best represent the carefree midsummer vibe of Season Sun with the other tracks rising and dipping not too far on either side of the spectrum. Classy fuzzed-out solos courtesy of guitarist Gid Goundrey interact playfully with Pryce's vintage analog synth lines throughout the set, providing heaps of atmosphere to tracks like "Seasoned Sun" and the thoughtfully moody "Everything." At times, Season Sun has the feeling of being a bit more assembled than written, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. What it lacks in emotional depth, it makes up for in style and there will always be a place for breezy summer albums with sonic charm and an easy way about them. The album's closer "I Want to Dance" is the perfect combination of catchy, melodic riffs and fun, whimsical vocals which sends the album off on a high note with its stereo spread of cascading synth arpeggios. Fans of cool, retro-minded indie pop will embrace integrating this set into their playlists for the warmer months and beyond.

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