The Naked Sun hail from Philadelphia, PA and deliver a brand of Indie roots rock they have tagged ‘Honest Rock’ which should appeal to fans of the genre that like their music to be heartfelt, real and raw. The band took their name from the Isaac Asimov novel that deals with the weighty issues of how we look at the environment we live in and how we interact with our neighbours, government and society in general. The Naked Sun live up to the Asimov connection with music that is always interesting, challenging and lyrically open to interpretation.
‘Pickled Hearts’ is the second EP from the band and has a long history which dates back to 2013.The band had originally recorded the tunes acoustically before the full band went into the studio to record the songs electrically. Unhappy with the result the quartet decided that a return to the good old days of tape was required so they scoured ebay (other internet auction sites are available)for some vintage gear and decamped to the Pocono Lake area of Pennsylvania, set up their own studio and hit it hard over a long weekend.
The result of all this is a set of seven tunes that will hold your interest and keep you listening. The Naked Sun tend to allow the music to breath and let it go where it wants and needs to go. On occasion you almost feel that two songs have been tagged together but it’s a natural feeling and it works. Opening track ‘It Will’ at seven minutes sets the scene as it slowly builds acoustically with a plaintive harmonica evoking images of Dylan and Neil Young before a quite lovely lead guitar figure from Tim Campbell adds to the scene. The rhythm section of Dave Gladney and Ken Letherer (bass) drop in and things slowly build to a crescendo. This slow build approach allows singer Andrew Wesley Harris (Drew) to stretch out from a gentle beginning to full blown banshee howl. Lyrically with references to the state of the environment, and the Siren song of Greek mythology, it would seem our protagonist has had to preserve (pickle) his heart to save what’s left of his humanity.
The band dial it back for ‘Silver Rings’ which has a nice old school country / Americana sound with a pronounced live feel due to the open sound of Dave Gladney’s drums which makes you feel like you’re in the room with the band. This approach is also used on ‘Blue, Green, and Blue’ and both the tracks feature impressive use of steel guitar to up their country credentials.
The guys kick into high gear as ‘Waitin’ in Line for the Ferris Wheel’ opens with a frankly glorious mix of soulful organ and tasteful guitar lines that builds into a powerful guitar driven rocker with the cut and thrust of the dual guitars a joy. Lyrically Drew seems to have delved into the trippy cut-up approach to lyricism favoured by Bowie and Cobain. The organ evidenced on ‘Waitin’ really comes to the fore on ‘P.O.O.R’ and is the perfect complement to some potent lead guitar work with liberal use of Wah-Wah and a neat solo. The upbeat approach continues with ‘Land Of Pure Imagination’ a short, sharp out-and-out rocker with spiky guitar and a ravaged lead vocal. The final song on the EP ‘True North’ is a terrific slice of acoustic based Americana that gently allows the EP to conclude on a positive note both musically and lyrically as Drew sings ‘The whole world is my home and I don’t care if I’m not welcomed here’.
If you choose to pick up the album from the band via Bandcamp then you will also receive demo versions of three of the tracks as a bonus.
The Naked Sun were introduced to Red Guitar Music by our good friends at www.realgonerocks.com