For those who want a sneak peak into the future of EDM, or even dance music in general, look no further than SunSquabi. The three-piece ‘electronic-hydro-funk’ outfit hailing from Boulder, Colorado, one of today’s shining stars in the burgeoning livetronic scene, is poised for a breakout year in 2015.
After being formed in 2011 by Kevin Donohue (guitar, keys, production) and Andrew Clymer (bass, synth), the duo-turned-trio quickly branched out to include Chris Anderson (drums) to round out their current configuration.
But what does a SunSquabi sound like?
To start the conversation: silk. Deep, atmospheric production, heavily influenced by the great powers of reverb, delay, and echo – all brought into the live realm by Donohue’s guitar, Clymer’s bass, and Anderson’s percussion. It’s simultaneously upbeat and dancy but with a depth of feeling that is usually reserved for more downtempo-style grooves. It rocks.
They sound like Zoogma vs. Gramatik, if such a thing existed.
Really, they sound like themselves, and fans are taking notice. As SunSquabi continues to hustle by making moves both in the studio and on the road, they’re garnering bigger and bigger audiences at every show. Well deserved, no doubt.
As far as their music goes, some tracks come straight out as electro-funk fiascos a la Griz’s work (they’re even featured on Griz’s album, Say It Loud); others dig into a dimly lit, moodier space, delving headfirst into highly warped-out and reverb-laced guitar textures set against swooning synths and sultry sax melodies.
The best example of the latter, more chilled out sound, is 2013’s Fundamental Interaction.
The album, a 17-track compilation of 3 separate EP’s (the Super Gravity, Nuclear Force, and Magnetism EP’s), is an epic piece of work, dripping wet with the characteristic SunSquabi hydro-funk sound.
For those looking for a true starting place to discover the band Fundamental Interaction is a great place to begin.
But don’t think that that’s all there is to the band, because with each subsequent release they’re growing as both individual musicians and a single unit, pushing the boundaries of what they can create.
With the Thunder EP, SunSquabi takes this idea on full-force, bringing out more twists and turns for the band. It’s their first collaboration with the Cali-turned-Colorado vocalist Povi Tamu (check out the track, ‘Sparrow’).
From the sound of the track that they laid down it won’t be their last with the vocalist. It’s beautiful.
Another move for the album is that SunSquabi is tracking live drums in the studio again, something that SunSquabi hasn’t done since 2012’s Echoes.
There’s nothing quite like the live percussion sound, especially when it comes to the splash of a cymbal or the intricacies of some well timed hi-hat rolls; few things can match the skill and feel of a live drummer.
All in all, one can only guess at where these guys will end up once 2015 is all said and done. We predict that they’ll keep pushing; working their a**es off; touring as all young bands who have the drive to seriously make it do. As for now the dividends of their past work are already coming to fruition.
So far they’ve shared the stage with acts like Pretty Lights, Big Gigantic, GRiZ, Boombox, Conspirator, and Break Science at festivals and venues like Red Rocks, Wakarusa, Summer Camp, Sonic Bloom, and South By Southwest. The sky is the limit for this young band.
As they near takeoff, expect to see them soaring higher and higher on tour schedules and festival bills as they rocket toward their future.