Photo: Erica Tello
Austin, TX based Sun June formed when singer Laura Colwell and guitarist Stephen Salisbury met while working in director Terrence Malick’s editing rooms. The two would practice in offices whenever Malick was out of town, later adding Michael Bain on guitar, Sarah Schultz on drums, and Justin Harris on bass to fill out the band. Sun June’s music sounds like perfect accompaniment to Malick’s “Tree Of Life,” or “The New World.” Their music is sparse, captivating and melancholy.
Who: Sun June / Magnolia
When: 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13
Where: George’s Majestic Lounge, 519 W. Dickson St.
Cost: $8-$10 + fees at Stubs.net
More: See the Facebook event
I’ve had Sun June’s first record Years on my mind ever since it was released earlier this year. It’s a debut record that sounds fully realized, full of warm songs with new takes on familiar feelings. Colwell’s voice carries the songs to you, her delivery is confident and disarming.
Sun June perform for the first time in Fayetteville on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at George’s Majestic Lounge, with Magnolia. Doors are at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8:30 p.m.
I talked to Laura Colwell after the band returned from a European tour and here it goes:
How would you describe your sound to a stranger?
We like to use the term “regret pop,” because it makes us laugh, but I’d say we have reverby guitars, simple structures, and (secretly) sad lyrics. We try to write melodic songs that will stick in your head. Also we recently told a British passport control officer that we were an “indie rock band” and he rolled his eyes hard.
Some of you have worked in film editing. How has that affected your music and writing?
I think our writing stems from visuals, so that’s certainly tied together. We do a lot of editing when we arrange and record songs. Timing is very important to us and so we can end up obsessing over fractions of a second. We’ve worked on long-term projects enough to know it often just takes time for things to finally click. We’ll go through a lot of iterations before the pieces come together.
Your songs (and certainly videos) have a cinematic feel to them. Are you thinking about images while writing?
I think we write about images and then we try to create new images for a video concept. Sometimes we’ll shoot some footage and try different songs beneath it just to see which fit and which don’t. The goal is to be surprised by how an image and a song match up. New images can give a song a fresh meaning or make us think about it in a different way.
What was the last film you saw that really moved you?
It’s a few years old now, but “Certain Women” still sticks out. Kelly Reichardt is a genius! It’s such a beautiful film. Also on tour we watched “Black Sheep” on our Honda Odyssey entertainment system and gotta say, it was an emotional time.
What was the last great live show you saw? Feel free to give us a brief review.
Stella Donnelly at the Mohawk in Austin! We were all blown away by her solo performance. She was so relaxed and calm while shredding guitar and delivering fire vocals. She’s a total ham with the audience, too. We really appreciate that kind of dedication.
What keeps you occupied in the van on tour? And what is the first stop you make in a new city?
We like to play a game called “You’re going to hate this.” You play a song you genuinely like that you suspect everyone else will hate. The more people who hate it, the higher your score! Losing might be more fun though. Turns out everyone likes Ween’s “Your Party.” Otherwise we play Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” a lot.
If we have time to spare in a new city, we always look for the best food and a record shop.
You’re on Keeled Scales, run by our friend Tony Presley, how did that come about?
Tony is the best! He happened to live above the studio we used and heard us mixing the record through his floorboards. Keeled Scales was on our list of dream labels, so our engineer Evan Kaspar connected us. We tried to play it cool. It was very middle-school-crush.
Have you been to Fayetteville before? What are you looking forward to doing while you’re here?
We’ve never been. Excited and looking for suggestions… Best food and record shop??? Please send us your recs to our Insta or Twitter.