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Sun Atoms - Let There Be Light

  by Kimberly Bright

published: 1 / 3 / 2022

Sun Atoms - Let There Be Light
Label: Acid Test Records
Format: CD


Enjoyable dreamy, visionary psych-rock on Sun Atoms’ debut album.

'Let There Be Light' is the first solo album of Portland, Oregon musician, artist, and producer Jsun Atoms (Jason Adams). Previously Atoms was a member of The Upside, Daydream Machine, and Bella Low, and his atmospheric music has appeared in television programmes and films. In promotional photos he sports rather dramatic eyeliner/face paint, not quite Alice Cooper or King Diamond, but still stunning. The album was produced by Peter Holmström from The Dandy Warhols and mixed by Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur). Atoms’ previous bands have opened for The Dandy Warhols on tours in the U.S., Canada, and Australia, so the two men had a reasonably long history. The creation of 'Let There Be Light’ might have been a team effort, with files being sent back and forth to Austin, Brooklyn, Sacramento, and beyond, but the result is a feast for the mind and spirit: subtle grooves, quiet, soothing vocals, textured keyboards, all with an intriguing mystical atmosphere. There’s no sense of impending doom or dark vibe here. Instead, it is fun to hear what’s coming next in this seamless adventure, like watching one of Eno’s lightboxes go from one colour to the next. Atoms was joined by several guests, including Jasno Swarez from Brooklyn noise-surf rock band The Vandelles and Alex Maas from The Black Angels on vocals and mellotron on the opening track 'The Cat’s Eye.'. The fact that the album has a mellotron on it at all really tells you everything you need to know! 'Don't Take Me to Your Leader'' and the science fiction-flavoured, droning, brass-infused 'Half Robot Half Butterfly', which also have nicely done, colourful videos, sound like Nick Cave-David Byrne-Magnetic Fields collaborations. 'Fell For You' is a lovely, timeless stand-alone synth-pop track. Atoms advises the listener in the CD liner notes to look into the work of Swedish artist Hilma af Klint, now acknowledged as the first abstract artist, whose painting 'Untitled #1' (1915) he used on the album cover. According to 'ArtReview', “She painted abstract paintings under guidance from spiritual beings.” The metallic glowing sun is a metaphor for Atoms’ musical inspiration: at the centre of the universe, with the atoms at its own centre undergoing “intense pressure.” The music here, however, doesn’t sound like it was made under uncomfortably intense pressure at all. Quite the opposite. As another band once sung, set controls for the heart of the sun.

Track Listing:-
1 The Cat's Eye
2 Half Robot Half Butterfly
3 Captain Tunnel Vision
4 Don't Take Me to Your Leader
5 Super Switch Kid
6 Fell for You
7 Two Wolves and a Lamb Voted on What's for Dinner
8 Praying Mantis

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