The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Thief’s Sunchild shines

One of the greatest feelings in the world is to discover something new that you weren’t looking for; it’s like striking oil in your own backyard. This was the case when I discovered that the German trio, Thief, who gets the award for the most misleading band name, had released a new album under my radar.

Composed of singer-songwriter, Sacha Gottschalk and Jazzanova members Stefan Leisering and Axel Reinemer, the group is on Jazzanova’s label, Sonar Kollectiv. They had been previously featured on Clara Hill’s album, “Restless Times,” and the “Belle et Fou” soundtrack.

Not easily classified, their auspicious debut, “Sunchild,” shines with breezy acoustic guitar arrangements and angular vocal melodies. They mix folk with ’60s jazz and downtempo electronica to come up with their own blend of electrofolk…sort of.

The first single, “Hold On, Hold On,” is one of the more upbeat songs on the album, but it still retains a mellow vibe. Driven by swinging, almost Latin percussion, the song sways along as Gottschalk’s vocals pierce through the music with a frantic yet reserved energy. The short but sweet tune gives a taste of their sound but leaves you wanting more, and I mean that in a good way.

The track “Somewhere,” is a definite standout, if for no other reason than it finds the band abandoning its characteristic acoustic guitars for ’80s Eurhythmic-esque synths. Despite the change in instrumentation, the track doesn’t sound out of place on the album. They’re able to use the synths to create a warm sound and Gottschalk’s vocal arrangement really shines here. His angular approach to melody is reminiscent of Sterolab’s Lætitia Sadier while maintaining his unique point of view.

Another great addition to the record, “I Can’t Remember,” finds the band really playing with genres in an almost Beck kind of way. The song is built around perpetually moving acoustic guitars, while the track seamlessly blends live and programmed drums together into a subtle frenzy of sound. Again, Gottschalk’s vocals work perfectly in alignment with the track, functioning as an extension of the music.

On the track “(like) Leaves,” the band produces a mellow and vibrant sound. Drawing on a more folk aesthetic, the song drifts along as softly as Gottschalk sings, “Leaves are spreading all over the ground/Vanishing like love I never found…like leaves.” The combination of his vocals and the folksy guitars provides an almost ethereal feel. They do a great job of marrying sounds to create something new.

What I enjoyed most about this trio was its ability to maintain a unique musical point of view throughout the album. You could hear the influences, but it never sounded like they were trying to copy anyone else’s sound. Rather, they were able to take elements from different sources to create a soundscape all their own.

Luckily, this album has an official U.S. release, meaning you can cop it without having to worry about paying import prices. So, if you’re in the mood for something that’s mellow without being boring, look no further than this album.

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