A Sunny Day In Glasgow - Sea When Absent
It’s been a while but A Sunny Day In Glasgow are back with ‘Sea When Absent’, their third album proper. ‘Sea When Absent’ situates itself in the science fiction that is life in 2014 and goes looking for what new myths might speak to us in our post- Fukushima, post-quantum, post-everything world.
Recorded over a year and half with Jeff Zeigler (War On Drugs, Kurt Vile) at his Uniform Recording Studios in Eraserhood Philadelphia, the album is a conscious move away from the bright-dark, ambient maximalism of the band’s acclaimed double album ‘Ashes Grammar’ and a move towards a post-millennial, upfront pop sound. ‘Sea When Absent’ is simultaneously A Sunny Day In Glasgow at their most accessible, most insane and most rock.
Appropriately for new beginnings, ‘Sea When Absent’ marks a number of firsts for the band - it’s the first album recorded in a ‘real’ studio by someone who isn’t Ben or Josh, the first album not written mostly by Ben, the first album with next-to-no reverb and the first time in A Sunny Day In Glasgow’s history that it has existed as an actual band (and not just Ben or Josh playing everything). There was also a conscious effort to get away from aspects of recording that have defined this band in the pasts, namely heavily reverbed and buried vocals.
Vocalists Jen Goma and Anne Fredrickson have beautiful voices and it was time to explore the possibilities of their abilities / talents. Jen took on a central role in the making of this album, stepping up to write most of the lyrics and melodies. Annie also contributed melodies throughout the album and put her classical cello training to use adding string arrangements.
Since 2009 Ben has called Sydney, Australia home and while he was down under, multi-instrumentalist / backup vocalist / engineer / jack-of-all-trades Josh Meakim was “Our Man in Philly”, overseeing the recording sessions and adding all of the musical and production ideas he usually does. The distance between Ben and the rest of the band also forced novel ways of building songs across the world. Bassist Ryan Newmyer in Brooklyn was tasked with deconstructing and rebuilding several songs in his own way - ‘Oh, I’m A Wrecker (What To Say To Crazy People) bears the fruit of this tact. Holding it all together is drummer Adam Herndon. Adam is ‘Sea When Absent’s alchemist, weaving between and often reconciling, the colossal boom of electronic beats (see ‘Golden Waves’ or ‘Double Dutch’) and the subtle elegance of a drum kit in a room (such as ‘The Body, It Bends’ and ‘The Things They Do To Me’).
“‘Sea When Absent’ has the quality of one of those spectacularly bright summer days when the color in everything seems a little over-saturated, and it induces the same dizzy, woozy feeling you get after staring directly at the sun [...] ASDIG fashion ambient, dance music and dream-pop into an ecstatic whole that about defies category altogether.” - Pitchfork
“A Sunny Day In Glasgow have more or less become sculptors of sound, turning discord and dissonance into harmonic loveliness” - The Line Of Best Fit
“ASDIG really find their groove as the album flits between dynamic mashup and woozy comedown” - The List