Sunhaze has been around since 2012 and they just released their debut album, "Wishful Thinking" on October 7th, 2016. The group worked with producers Sean Paulson and Brandon Martinez and engineer Derek Schultz at Different Fur Studios (San Francisco, CA) – they created a sound exactly what you would expect from a group out of California.
“Buddy” opens the album on a somewhat melancholy note. It’s a song that should accompany a long, summer night. The song blends bright, surf-pop guitar chords with driving, electronic drums. Even with lyrics that sing about a failed love, it’s a fun song that has the feel of a summer anthem. “You Don’t Know” is a great follow-up track, using elements that create an ambient atmosphere, sending the listener into an ethereal state of mind. After a few more reflective tunes, the band turns to more synth-driven tracks. Though the music on "Wishful Thinking" is unique and fun, Sunhaze shines brightest through their heartfelt, vulnerable sentiments about love and its struggles.
To top it all off, "Wishful Thinking" is a masterful display of production. In this venture, as with the melodies and lyrics, there is an experience of richly layered sound that never dulls or settles. It hardly seems right to pen an album review without mentioning at least one negative point, but finding drawbacks on "Wishful Thinking" is hard. Some listeners may question the addition of the brief instrumental track “Rain” that comes towards the end of the album, but I personally found it quite effective and a nice transition into the closing track “In The Shadows”. There simply are no significant missteps on this album and there isn’t a single track I would be tempted to skip over.
Simply put: "Wishful Thinking" is a wonderful work of songwriting, performance, and production. It is an album that proves Sunhaze is not just another pop band, but rather an act that has the potential to grow into something very unique and creative. It isn’t just emotional and it isn’t just melodically beautiful, it is intricate and diverse. Most of all, it is totally worth buying. "Wishful Thinking" is available on iTunes and Bandcamp and for streaming on Spotify and Apple Music.