As many, many others have recounted by now, High Sunn is the project of the wildly prolific Justin Cheromiah. And Justin is only 17 years of age. The musician has already released dozens of tracks himself but now he's signed to the wonderful PNKSLM label and they are set to drop the latest High Sunn EP, Hopeless Romantic, on Friday.
Opener "Joy Of Romance" chimes with a sort of faux-Fifties vibe mixed with the usual implements of indie rock. It is a delightful opening track and one complemented by the following number, "Ramen Waitress", all Wedding Present hooks revved up for the 21st century. Elsewhere, "Holding Hands" rings with echoes of the same sort of indie touchstones that one heard in early tracks from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, while offering up a uniquely spry take on this kind of thing. "Tears" takes things down a bit until "Polaroids" finally embraces the brand of dark, largely down-tempo alt-rock once perfected by The Cure in the late Eighties. While the music here is decidedly not derivative, a listener can't help but hear so many worthy influences filtered through Justin's fresh approach to making indie-pop. And, given the self-produced back-catalog that Cheromiah has so far offered up on his own, one would be tempted to perhaps call this lo-fi, but that would be a huge mistake as Justin, clearly, invests this material with so much energy and heart that there's nothing half-assed about any of it. Our attempts as music writers to peg this easily to one genre or style are just us being not quite sure of what this new, awesome music is. Closer "Good Evening", for example, bursts forward with big hooks and fuzzy guitars and it seems, like all 6 of the tracks here, so fresh and so new that to just lazily reference other bands when attempting to describe the High Sunn sound seems the depth of laziness indeed. So, time to come up with some new genre labels then?
Bold and bright, the half-dozen tunes here on Hopeless Romantic are, like so many things on the PNKSLM label these days, some of the best indie-pop you're going to hear. Precisely familiar in all the right ways, and full of a youthful joy throughout, Hopeless Romantic from High Sunn is one of the most essential releases of this busy late-Spring release season.
[Photo: Uncredited promotional image]