Sun June’s Ups and Downs


By Jeff McCord

courtesy of the artist/Santiago Dietche

Is there that much difference between love and loss? Austin band Sun June, who jokingly refer to their 2018 debut recording as ‘regret pop’, found themselves in different circumstances when the time came to record their new album, Somewhere  (released February 5th via Keeled Scales). Collaborators Stephen Salisbury and Laura Colwell are now a couple, and that became the foundation for new material. “I guess the biggest difference,” vocalist Colwell considers, “is how we are looking at our relationship together, and at grief in a more present way. We aren’t looking too far in the rearview – rather we are exploring who we are to each other now. We’ve also been going through a few life changes together and that snuck its way into our songs. Time is weird and, while we try to do our best to not repeat past mistakes, sorrow still seeps in.”

Life never holds fast to one emotion for very long, highs and lows find their way in, and this is true for the carefully considered and arranged material on Somewhere. Sunny optimism can be displaced by dark clouds. “I am always skating between total chaos like ‘Bad Girl’ and relaxed optimism like ‘Finding Out’ or ‘Real Thing’,” says Colwell. “I recently made a choice to return to an old job, and I’m living alone for the first time ever. So I’m very much in a weird state of mind like on ‘Everything I Had’. We’re a pretty mixed bag of personalities, to be honest, so I feel like even though we all can relate to the songs on the record, the entire band all jumbled together is very much like a mix of ‘Everywhere’, ‘Bad with Time’ and ‘Karen O’ – we exist in polar opposite emotional realms simultaneously.”

AUSTIN, TX. June 11, 2018. Sun June in KUTX Studio 1A. Nick Griffith for KUTX

Somewhere is a big step up for the five members of Sun June, and the dichotomy of the songs makes for fascinating listening. It all seems to fit in with our uncertain times.  “We really stretched out our time in the studio over weekends and random days” Colwell recalls.  “Our very last day in the studio was the day Austin went on lockdown, so we lucked out with the timing, quite honestly. We ended up pushing the release by several months, which felt right. We still got to work on several music videos, and shooting/planning those during a pandemic was tricky. Releasing singles in 2020 felt strange, but we felt like a long,  drawn-out release was right up our alley. We are all feeling grateful and lucky — the pandemic has hit others a lot harder. We hope to be on the other side of this soon and look forward to touring again when that happens.”