Album Premiere: Sunbeam Sound Machine, ‘Wonderer’

Wondering Sound Staff

By Wondering Sound Staff

on 11.14.14 in News

The sound of Wonderer, the debut from Melbourne’s Sunbeam Sound Machine, is rich and kaleidoscopic. Big, aqueous bubbles of sound surge and heave: weird, eerie keyboards bleed into wobbly, punch-drunk guitars; space-age organs trip across thudding percussion; strange synthetic fog billows in, dissipates then builds again. It’s the stuff of waking dreams — unnaturally colorful, bleary and distended. It’s all the product of one man, Nick Sowersby, who seems to have taken it as his mission to imagine the Olivia Tremor Control on mammoth doses of Dramamine. It’s an enveloping, thrillingly odd sound, miragelike and surreal. Sowersby’s voice drifts along like a candy boat across a chocolate river, but there’s something unsettling lurking beneath the waters. “What should I do with the life I’m living?” are the first words Sowersby sings, and the rest of Wonderer feels like a kind of bleary, stream-of-consciousness to answer that question. The whole thing plays out like an old ’70s educational film, its frames faded by sunlight and warped by time, its images distorted, but eerily familiar.