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Songs We Love: The Sun Parade, 'Heart's Out'

The Sun Parade's <em>Heart's Out</em> EP is out now.
Courtesy of the artist
The Sun Parade's Heart's Out EP is out now.

The Sun Parade, <em>Heart's Out</em> (self-released)
/ Courtesy of the artist
Courtesy of the artist
The Sun Parade, Heart's Out (self-released)

The Sun Parade writes jangly hooks, and cranks up the fuzz on its guitars. In this sense the Northampton, Massachusetts quartet is no different from many of its skinny jeans-wearing peers playing garage-, psyche- or folk-rock, the signifying music of many modern bands. What does set The Sun Parade apart is the degree of its obsession to detail, and the group's deeply felt debt to the Beatles, an influence that would seem cliché were it not for the fact that it is in itself an anachronism that's been on the wane in today's indie world. The group's devotion to Lennon and McCartney is apparent in the boyish group harmonies, the chord patterns, the shared front-man duties of singer/guitarists Chris Marlon Jennings and Jefferson Lewis, and even in Jacob Rosazza's violin-shaped Höfner electric bass that's famously favored by Paul. Yet the Fab Four's primary impact on The Sun Parade seems to have been the interest of crafting the kinds of traditional guitar-pop songs that people might still be singing 50 years down the road.

"Heart's Out," from the band's self-released 2014 EP of the same name, is one such song, a soaring, open-hearted ditty about almost-requited love. "If you want it / Come take it / Where did you go?/ My heart is out," Jennings wails in the chorus, his voice jumping up into a rapturous falsetto on the word "where." It's undoubtedly the song's best syllable, an instant colored by both aching disappointment and cathartic joy. "Heart's Out" builds briskly, alternating between moments of hushed suspension and full-throttle release, until it explodes unexpectedly into a backbeat-driven breakdown. The Sun Parade may attempt to emulate its great rock and roll forebears; but the lesson the group seems to have best absorbed is how to create small, surprising delights.

"Heart's Out" is available for sale on Bandcamp.

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