Label: Canvasback Music/Parlophone
Released: 9th April 2021
Through his three previous EPs, Briston Maroney has built a strong reputation as a rising indie-rock artist who can provide rocky sing-alongs as well some more chill acoustic moments; his debut album ‘Sunflower’ balances these two sides and leans into pop production to express a new vibe which is deeply rooted in energetic Americana sounds.
‘Bottle Rocket’ is a quintessential declaration of this fresh direction, meshing layers of Briston’s characteristic vocals over fuzzy guitars and blaring synths in a vibrant chorus that inexplicably feels like a summer bop. ‘It’s Still Cool If You Don’t’ walks the fine line between genres with gentle, acoustic verses and a wailing, electrifying chorus.
Lyrically, the record’s foundation is in witty romanticisms and apt metaphors; ‘Freeway’ is perhaps the best manifestation of this cliché but undeniably appealing approach, using running down a highway as a comparison for the freedom one might desire when being held back by someone’s lack of compassion. Country and indie merge together with sparkling riffs underlaid by subdued strings.
The latter half of the album does make a return to the acoustic roots of his indie origins, particularly with the sweet pronouncement of adoration in ‘Cinnamon’, relying only on twinkling, melodic scales as instrumentation to support his simultaneously off-the-cuff and precise performance at the forefront.
On this record, Briston is clearly pushing his sound experimentation further than before, anchoring in on infusing Americana with soul. His shiny songwriting and distinctly mature delivery hint at deeper wisdom; it’s hard to remember that he’s only 23 years old with such quality music under his belt, and this is only the beginning.