In Review: Sun June - 'Karen O'
God bless Karen O, the spectral Tinkerbell who can tickle your heartstrings and make you feel as though you’ve ingested a face-full of drugs, often within the scope of a single album. If you’re not concentrating, the new single by Austin five-piece Sun June sounds suspiciously like the actual Karen O is singing about herself under a pseudonym - that’s how perfectly they replicate her wistful, introspective, twinkly sound.
The track is taken from upcoming sophomore album Somewhere, and the band themselves remark that “the actual Karen O is a hero of ours of course, and in the song, she spurs on a lonely night of reflection about what could be versus what can't.” They say that the single covers topics such as “love, performance, regret, hereditary drinking problems, and explores how we sometimes choose to heighten grief rather than reduce it. It also features a voicemail mailbox, which is unfortunate.”
Musically, 'Karen O' is quiet and low, but pregnant with nostalgia, ruminating on lost love and missed calls from a persistent dad, taking its sweet time to reach a barely-there crescendo. It deals in languid vocals, lush and lonesome guitars, and the mere brush of a drum.
If you’ve ever had a night out that started perfectly until it collapsed into deep rumination about Every Shitty Thing You’ve Ever Done, then, a) this song is going to make you feel awful, and b) it’s going to remind you that feeling awful is a universal human experience, and it’s okay, man. It’s okay.
Sun June class their music as ‘regret pop’, which sounds perfectly pitched to get us through this winter and beyond - but do your heart a favour, and never let your dad go through to voicemail again.
To hear more from Sun June, click here.