with Sunsleeper and Alien Boy
“We’re all in this weird world together” is a perfectly suited mantra to describe Phoenix,
Arizona’s Sundressed. The quote, from vocalist and songwriter Trevor Hedges’ description of
the message behind his own lyrics, is hopeful and unifying – and thoroughly summarizes the
Sundressed was initially created, in part, to help vocalist & songwriter Trevor Hedges
maintain sobriety. Years later, the calm of a sober life has allowed Hedges to take his struggles
and successes and refocus them to a broader scope. What’s truly remarkable is that he’s
managed to achieve this without straying away from his signature mixture of self-deprecation
and eager determination. What’s left is an uplifting take on the heavier aspects of life, inspiring
hope without treading into trite or conceived territory.
The past two years have been monumentally prolific for Sundressed, releasing two EPs
and a split with Nashville’s Secret Stuff in rapid succession between April 2015 and July 2016.
Now, the five-piece outfit has readied their first full-length record, “A Little Less Put Together.”
The LP, full of syrupy, yet poignant pop-punk songs wrought with massive hooks and stark
lyrical honesty, is a must-listen for fans of Saves the Day, The Starting Line, & Transit. The
uptempo bounciness and complex vocal melodies of “Mill Ave and Broadway” call back to mid-
era Relient K, while the melancholy, synth-tinged “A Little Less Put Together” shows the band
taking influence from Motion City Soundtrack. Ultimately, “A Little Less Put Together” is a
perfect windows-down-on-a-warm-spring-day kind of record – capable of tugging at heart
strings, but also demanding singalong after singalong with its huge, addictive choruses.
“A Little Less Put Together” was engineered, produced, mixed, and mastered by Curtis
Douglas (The Maine), and will be out in March 2017 via Animal Style Records.
For bands in San Jose, existence itself is a political act. With almost no venues at their disposal, and a culture dictated by billion dollar corporations, passion is the only option. Formed in 2017, awakebutstillinbed emerge from this environment screaming out for connection and meaning, their music “a vivid rendering of a life spent standing on a precipice” (Pitchfork).
Absib’s debut What People Call Low Self-Esteem Is Just Seeing Yourself The Way Others See You is an album about being crushed by expectations, and loaded with other people’s desires. It is untamable, and undeniable. What began as the solo project of singer/guitarist Shannon Taylor, absib are now a powerful group, part At the Drive-In, part Kim Shattuck, and (at times) part pre-Good News Modest Mouse. Explosive and honest, Taylor’s lyrics painfully, purposefully tear out the false seams and sutures that shape us in the eyes of others, revealing underneath the beautiful, beating heart of whatever it is we call the self. On paper, it might sound like familiar territory for emo, but don’t be fooled: absib map out whole areas of the soul previously pushed to the shadows. Plus, they fucking rock. (bio by Mike Huguenor. photos by Tommy Ly)
Loud tunes from Salt Lake City, Utah.
post punk gothy pop punk new wave punk punk