Suntrodden - Suntrodden III

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:7 Release Date:2017-07-07

Erik Stephansson is an obviously smart, wistful guy coming up with a nom du plume like Suntrodden. The only thing to be deciphered is whether his sun paths are really traversed or untraversed. Judging by his quite brief (less than 15 minutes) Suntrodden III EP, the dilemma will take a bit more time to be resolved.

These days a lot of music, when it sees the light of the day, is being stuffed in the EP category, from nothing that has more than two songs on it to 60-minute wind outs (remember those Seefeel ‘EP’s’ ?). Maybe this Suntrodden III really fits the mark in that respect - enough music to give you an idea, a musical sketch or a short story(ies), but it could also either leave you craving for more or tell you, ok I’ve had enough of that.

A few mixed feelings on that one with Erik and his new, second EP (the first two were out sometime last year). In a way, it reminds me of the long gone days (was it really that long ago?) of fairgrounds and the cotton candy they used to sell there - all fluffy, sugary in bright colours, but when you start chewing on the stuff it quickly melts and it turns just into little bits of sugar. On the other hand, you couldn’t resist the stuff, it was pure sugar, after all.

Same here. Stephansson, who obviously likes the 90s vision of melancholy inclined pop, somewhere between Neutral Milk Hotel and Elliot Smith with traces of references to those ‘really old guys’, the Beatles, obviously has a good sense of melody and knows how to adeptly handle guitars and keyboards. The introductory There’s A Place shows how well he can do it and the following tune, Pure with its multitrack vocals keeps the promise.

As the tunes go along you realize that the good, given promise still has a way to go to come up with some really strong, fully formed melodies. Like Moonflower which starts of with a great piano intro but then simply sounds like it needs an extra push to turn into a great song. In essence, Stephansson is definitely on a right track and it doesn’t seem he needs that much to turn cotton candy into a true dessert. Let’s see how he does with an album.

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