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).

Google Translate:

“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).


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.


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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.

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Tis the season for year-end best-of lists, and The Record Exchange is pleased to bring you our 2017 Staff Picks!

Here’s John O.’s Top 10, followed by an abridged version of his blog post on the year in music as heard through his ears.

English Tapas
One More for the Road
Big Fish Theory
It Runs Around the Room with Us
Freedom Is Free
The French Press
Sorry Is Gone

Sun Blood Stories continue to amaze me. Ben and Amber’s singing and playing are reaching new heights.

john o

Some—just some—of the best recent recordings to come out of Boise

Sun Blood Stories’ second album, Twilight Midnight Morning (Obsolete Media Objects, 2015), was the best local release of 2015. Its follow-up doesn’t try to match its wild abandon, which is probably a smart move. Instead, It Runs Around the Room With Us (self-released, 2017) shows the psych-rock band refining Twilight‘s bluesy riffs, fluid grooves and layers of mind-warping noises to create a more somber, introspective experience. It’s not as immediately accessible, but it’s just as powerful and even more beautiful.

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1. Elder, Reflections of a Floating World
2. All Them Witches, Sleeping Through the War
3. Samsara Blues Experiment, One with the Universe
4. Colour Haze, In Her Garden
5. Atavismo, Inerte
6. Sun Blood Stories, It Runs Around the Room with Us
7. Cloud Catcher, Trails of Kozmic Dust
8. Vokonis, The Sunken Djinn
9. The Obsessed, Sacred
10. Mothership, High Strangeness
11. Spaceslug, Time Travel Dilemma
12. Electric Moon, Stardust Rituals
13. Alunah, Solennial
14. Arc of Ascent, Realms of the Metaphysical
13. Rozamov, This Mortal Road
14. Siena Root, A Dream of Lasting Peace
15. PH, Eternal Hayden
16. Geezer, Psychoriffadelia
17. T.G. Olson, Foothills Before the Mountain
18. Telekinetic Yeti, Abominable
19. The Devil and the Almighty Blues, II
20. Lord, Blacklisted


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Their latest album, It Runs Around The Room With Us, is an onslaught of ambient-psychedelia with Jon Fust on drums, holding it all together. The improvisational element of the band’s music gives multi-instrumentalists Pollard and Kirby, the freedom to showcase their slide-guitar work.  And the new dynamic of the band has affected the way they perform live, as well as their approach to the recording process.

“We recorded similar to the last one; in the basement,” says Pollard. “It’s a little different now because we are a three piece and we live together and record at home. There’s something really special about staying up until four in the morning and going to work at seven. And making sure we have enough whiskey to make it through the day.”

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If Sun Blood Stories‘ It Runs Around the Room with Us doesn’t demand a headphone listen, that’s only because it’s too classy, too subtle and too busy doing its own work to go around making demands in the first place. It is the third full-length from the Boise, Idaho-based Sun Blood Stories, following behind 2015’s Twilight Midnight Morning (review here) and their 2013 debut, The Electric Years, and its weighted high-desert shoegaze moodiness works in part to codify the experimentalism that has thus far been at root in the band’s sound. Emphasis on “in part,” because Sun Blood Stories still offer plenty of fare throughout these nine tracks/46 minutes, but where Twilight Midnight Morning nearly split itself in half between drone-outs and more traditional song structures, It Runs Around the Room with Us — a title that would seem to speak to the energy of its own creation — effectively bridges the gap between those two sides.

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