This is a great album I stumbled across today. I started listening and writing some notes, and eventually, I had to cheat and just do some Googling. I was writing things like “a lot of guitar slides.” I watched a video of the band playing live and saw that they have a lap steel guitar player, as well as someone playing the viola (or violin, I’m not sure, but it looks like a big violin). I was also surprised to find out that they were from Idaho, because it seems like most great bands like this are from Greece or Australia or something.
Their Bandcamp refers to the band as “high desert rockers” which makes sense. I find myself wanting to use the word “laidback” a lot. It’s got a very relaxed and comfortable vibe overall.
The opening track (as well as my introduction to this band), Palace Mountain Mirage, is instrumental. It’s the one played in the live video I found after deciding that a little Googling was in order. Vocals make their appearance by the time the second song, West The Sun, starts up. When I start albums like this, it’s always fun to guess whether or not the band will be instrumental.
“Time Like Smoke” is a more experimental / ambient piece that sounds more like a soundscape than a song. It oddly reminds me of Pink Floyd because there’s a sample in which it almost sounds like someone chuckling (or maybe that’s in my head) and it reminds of a specific section on the album Dark Side of the Moon.
In fact, to me, it seems as if the entire second half of the record is a little more spread out, spacey, and experimental. The journey the album takes you on from start to finish is a well thought-out one.
Con una respetable trayectoria de seis LP’s, el trío originario de Idaho, USA, entrega toda una experiencia sensorial. Su música es hipnótica, experimental, alejada del hit y busca atrapar al oyente dentro de una densa capa sonora producida por teclados, guitarras y los diversos patterns que toca su baterista. Una banda muy interesante para quienes quieren oír algo muy diferente de lo radial. Recomendamos su álbum Twilight Midnight Morning (2015).
“With a respectable record of six LP’s, the original trio from Idaho, USA, delivers a sensory experience. His music is hypnotic, experimental, far from the hit and seeks to capture the listener within a dense sound layer produced by keyboards, guitars and the various patterns played by his drummer. A very interesting band for those who want to hear something very different from the radial. We recommend your album Twilight Midnight Morning (2015).
Aside of the ripping sets that were happening on the pair of main stages, venues such as the Central welcomed bands like Sun Blood Stories from Boise who laid down a draw dropping Friday night performance in front of a nice-sized crowd. – READ MORE
Sun Blood Stories’ latest album, It Runs Around the Room with Us (2017), features a song written by Amber Pollard titled “Burn.” It was inspired by a time when the singer-guitarist and her son George saw a Confederate flag hanging from a parked truck.
AP: I was working at the time, and I was at the [Ada County] Courthouse. There was a burn ban in the city, and it was 110 degrees outside. We were standing at the courthouse, and we just lit it on fire in the parking lot.
The song served as the climax for the Boise-based rock group’s set at the 2016 Treefort Music Fest. As singer-guitarist Ben Kirby and drummer Jon Fust bashed away at their instruments, Pollard ran around the stage howling out the song’s single lyric: “BURN!”
It was the first time SBS had played the song live, and it hit the audience (including me) hard. My friend Jax Perez would tell me much later, “I cried. And I don’t publicly cry. I was raised to not publicly cry. But that show – especially when that song closed everything out – I was fucking bawling.”
Amber Pollard has that effect on people. On stage, she can hit an intensity level that few others in the Boise scene can match. In her everyday life, she’s thoughtful and outspoken on race, gender, sexuality, abuse, and many other issues. Her passion and forthrightness have earned her a number of fans, particularly among young women.
Amber and I met up recently to discuss her life and music.
As the title suggests, Sun Blood Stories conjures music that brings a physical presence with it. The melodies are commanding and follow you wherever you go. Saying that this album bodes well for a headphone listen is redundant. This Boise, Idaho four-piece are here to play what the music wants. They themselves are but a vehicle to perform it. At times chaotic, sometimes sweet, and always heady, “It Runs Around the Room With Us” is one of the most remarkable psych albums of the year.
This one is personal, and by that I mean I love this fucking band. Similar to my experience with their 2015 sophomore outing, Twilight Midnight Morning (review here), the third record by Boise-based trio of Ben Kirby (vocals, guitar, synth, percussion), Amber Pollard (vocals, guitar, theremin, percussion) and Jon Fust (drums, keys, percussion, noise) was one that I simply could not put down. Even now, seeing the name of the record is all I need to have songs like “The Great Destroyer” and the immersive midsection in “Come Like Rain” and “Time Like Smoke” stuck in my head, let alone the ultra-brazen, searingly-pissed “Burn” noise assault that finished the album and in the span of 90 seconds turned all the psychedelic warmth and serenity on its face with a visceral anger completely unforeseen and jarring, turning it from a depth-laden execution of adventurous neo-psych and indie into a project of conceptual artistry with all the efficiency of the chemical reaction it sought to portray. If you missed it, your loss.
This brooding, mournful follow-up to the tumultuous Twilight Midnight Morning (Obsolete Media Objects, 2015) confirms Sun Blood Stories’ status as the most exciting young rock group in Boise. It may take a couple of listens to get used to the album’s droning interludes and jarringly goofy bonus track, but the wailed vocals, malleable beats and hypnotic riffs kick in instantly.
Radio Boise’s monthly episode of The Couch Surfer Series, held right here in the Radio Boise studios the second Sunday of every month, features Poet Diane Raptosh and band Sun Blood Stories, with moderator R.E. Zickau.
Sun Blood Stories makes its latest appearance in Denver tonight, 9/15/17, at Lion’s Lair with Big Dopes and Serpentfoot. The former quintet now trio from Boise, Idaho, has been creating its experimental psychedelic music since 2011. Though the band emerged around the time when the most recent wave of psychedelic rock was headed toward its peak, Sun Blood Stories seemed to come from a different place. Its shows feel a bit like you’re seeing what a traveling, shamanistic musical ceremony might be like. Its songs, some rock, some weirdo folk but all informed by an attempt to create a mood and an experience as much as, or more so, than melody.
The 2017 album It Runs Around the Room With Us has a title that suggests the supernatural and the songs themselves are often melancholic compositions haunted by memories, dreams and experiments in crafting atmospheres that stir the imagination and don’t seen leave the mind. We recently caught up with the band via email to discuss some of its history, inspirations and perspectives in creating its riveting body of work. Where a specific band member responds the name will precede that response otherwise assume it’s a collective answer. But you can figure that out because you’re smart.