Album Review – European Sun by European Sun (2020) (WIAIWYA)
Before half the band drifted off to become the various guises of Charlie Tipper, Bristol’s The Short Stories released a body of critically acclaimed work centred around the semi-spoken word, laconic vocals of Steve Miles and his pen that could knock out a 6ft 9″ bigot in less than seven words.
Thankfully, he is back and whilst the indie-pop famous of his new European Sun bandmates, Amelia Fletcher and Rob Pursey, may well get much of the .com / zine attention, this really is an album that is all things special about what Miles.
Essentially, this debut album sees Miles at his most musically sparse yet. Compared to The Short Stories aesthetic, there are no accentuated pop flourishes and no real attempts to add anything but a deliberate sense of calm explanation to the vocals. It’s just the jangly indie-pop leanings of a man with something to say about the post Brexit state of the world and the various types of ‘ists’ that trouble him.
This aesthetic is then expertly augmented by the unobtrusive production and musicianship of a Fletcher / Pursey influence that seems determined to ensure that his every word is given attention. Its all perfect Bragg style indie folk, with the extra invitation of a jangly, lo-fi bias.
Occasionally, the tempo changes into something more Sarah Records in style, with tracks like Favourite Day and A Song For Sisters adding slightly more of a melodic jangly indie pop presence, largely courtesy of the accentuation of Amelia Fletcher‘s accompanying vocals. Her many fans will love such tracks.
Often such unions of established artists can radiate on a purely temporary basis as they drift back to their primary acts. This really would be a shame, as in this instance, this is just that bit ‘too good’ not to be developed further.