Sun Araw mastermind Carmerone Stallone must have enjoyed his collaboration as part of Vibes (who also have a new Psychic 7″ out), because the new LP Heavy Deeds finds his work unabashedly returning for a second helping of blistered space funk. Coming from the folks of Not Not Fun, the de facto furnace at the center of this current psychedelic revival, it’s getting harder and harder to compare acts like Sun Araw to anyone except their label mates and various side projects. We recently saw Pocahaunted experimenting with elements of dub and dancehall on albums like Island Diamonds, and similarly here Stallone looks to bring in disparate elements such as funk and blues to expand his psychedelic vernacular. The result is an album that is propelled largely by these contrasting elements sharing the same airspace, which is no back-handed compliment, because as proven on last year’s Beach Head, Stallone is at his best when he works within a specific concept.
Great celestial chants, tapering organs, and contorted wah-wah guitar workouts combine on tracks like “The Message” for some pretty blissed-out jams, and for an album with extremely minimal drums, maybe a tambourine pulse here and there, the album is surprisingly danceable. Whether it’s the bulging low-end of the mix, the vocal explosions sounding like a medicine man at the peak of an orgasm, or some subliminal ingredient that I can’t quite pick out, Heavy Deeds is just as good a soundtrack for your next mystery adventure as it is for getting stoned in your parent’s basement. I guess NNF said it best themselves, “Free your mind and your ass will follow.”
Heavy Deeds is available now on Not Not Fun.
Sun Araw – The Message