Potsdam, NY's Sunflo'er are set to follow 2018's NO HELL with a new album, all these darlings and now me, this Friday (9/2) via Dark Trail Records (pre-order). Since their last album, they expanded their lineup from a trio to a quartet with the addition of new lead vocalist Jeff Lyszczarz, and they made this new LP with producer Urian Hackney (of The Armed and Rough Francis). The result is a swaggering, razor-sharp collection of rock & roll-infused mathcore that falls somewhere between Every Time I Die, Refused, and The Bronx (and they just nabbed a co-sign from ETID guitarist Jordan Buckley), and if that sounds up your alley, you'll probably find that Sunflo'er do a ton of justice to that kind of stuff. It's a big step up from NO HELL, an invigorating take on a great sound, and a whole lot of fucking fun. Drummer/vocalist Ethan Shantie gives more background:
The writing process for this album was a huge departure for us, and I think that you can tell that a lot changed between NO HELL and now. Not only did we add a new member, but we also lost loved ones, went through career changes, all that bullshit. Most of this record was written by sharing parts on Google Drive. We all wrote riffs, drum patterns, and lyrics, but barely played any of the songs together as a full group until 6 months before we got into the studio. The songs all took their final shape during a weeklong stay at an AirBnb in Central New York.
Urian is responsible for making this album sound as god damn big as it does. Not only did he get the best possible performances out of us, he also made some critical recommendations that filled out our sound and made the songs pop. And, of course, he knew a good idea when he heard it - that’s why there’s tambourine on every single song.
This is also a definite departure for us. 'all these darlings and now me' has a lot of the same chaotic noise that we’ve always loved to play, but with the addition of Jeff on vocals and more stripped down, rock-and-roll oriented riffs, we’ve found a sound I think we were always building toward. The pandemic forced us to recalibrate and reassess everything about this band - what worked and what didn’t. I think we’re finally writing the music we’ve been trying to make for 13 years.
Jeff makes this record. Carter, Jim, and I have handled vocal duties for the last ten years, but it never really felt like we were in our comfort zone. Jeff can do everything we can do and so much more. He grounds these songs and makes them anthemic and endlessly listenable.
Lyrically there’s a lot happening on this record. All four of us contributed words, lines, and whole passages into one giant shared document. Jeff was able to find the common themes in all of it and put together lyrics that meditate in large part on loss and loneliness. We also have some not-so-subtle nods to our favorite songs and artists; we were stuck inside for almost the entire time we were writing this record, and what else did we have other than tv and books and music? We’ve always worn our influences on our sleeves, this time it’s just a little bit more overt.