Sundays. The day of rest, the precursors before the week, and the weekend’s last hurrah. In Hannah Van Loon’s (a.k.a. Tanukichan) debut LP ‘Sundays,’ the day’s both lethargic and anxious fervor is explored through a mix of dense synths, heavy distortion, guitar chugging, and airy vocals that oozes into a molten 10-track listen. In an effort to infuse both dreampop and shoegaze elements, Tanukichan achieves a soundscape that is memorable, but sometimes feels lost in translation.
The opener ‘Lazy Love’ starts off with looming and heavy distorted synths before both the guitar and drum machine enter into the dreamy abyss. Van Loon’s languid voice graces over fuzzed guitar strums into the chorus, which develops later into the verses. Next, ‘The Best’ explores Tanukichan’s serene vocals and feelings of alienation. Her lyrics carry the weight over its repetitive electronic effect. “Like the Sun” bathes in more heavy distortion with a swirling psychedelic guitar riff, which adds only minimal deviation from the vocal melody. ‘Bitter Medicine,” on the other hand, shines with a cleaner guitar tone and more thought-out melodies.
‘Hunned Bandz’ dives back into full-on distortion. This time, it features chromatic basslines and chord progressions that envelop Van Loon’s vocals. However, it is the follow-up ‘Natural’ that dazzles with more up-tempo progressions, brighter synths, and cleaner distortion from the guitars. Dreampop tracks like ‘The Blue Sky’ and ‘Sundays’ highlight clearer vocals and prominent synths, as well as distinctive melodic structures that make them one of the more engaging cuts on the LP.
The album wraps up with less stand-out melodies from the power pop ‘Perfect’ and the chilled-out ‘This Time.’ ‘Perfect’ is up-tempo, but feels overly beaten with drum machine perpetuating in the background. ‘The Time’ blossoms with actual lead guitar riffs and stronger instrumentation, but ends without a resolve.
While Tanukichan attempts to sort out her thoughts in ‘Sundays,’ the music also tries to find its way between both pop and chill-out elements in a way that makes sense. Nonetheless, the balancing act still is a solid and effective effort.
Tanukichan – ‘Sundays’ is out now.