When one thinks of surf music, they might conjure up vintage images of the Beach Blanket Bingo days with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funiculi. Or one might recall the pioneering guitar work of Dick Dale. What one should really think about, in the year 2021, is how far that surf sound has come and just where is it going? The answer is the San Francisco based Sandy’s. A band led by Alexi Glickman, their new single “Sunken Cathedral” is an immersive, sonic experience like no other. Dreamy and seemingly boundless in its pallet, it’s the perfect track to capture a sunset on the water moment.
It’s also the perfect sonic vessel to take the listener to another worldly layer in their own imagination. Based upon the song’s title, the listener gets a sense that the adventure one enrolls once they stand or paddle on the surf board, it’s like peeling back an entire new universe. Rather than focus too much on the song’s lyrics, I found myself marinating and wallowing in the sonic bliss “Sunken Cathedral” afforded me. Hues of blues and pastel pinks guided my path, with a bubbling bursts courtesy of the rubbery bass lines and steady pitter-patter of percussion. Glickman’s voice is equally lofty and fits nicely into the murky-watery guitar tones.
The idea of a sunken cathedral really strikes a unique chord during the song’s bridge. Up until the midpoint, or so, the ebb and the flow of the rhythm grabbed the listener like the tide moving in-and-out. Then, stop. In an almost about-face, the song starts again with all the glory of a church service-like organ. It might feel stark in contrast at first listen, but by the song’s second spin, I was ready for it and dove deeper into its emotional journey. I loved the way “Sunken Cathedral” took me to different caverns of my imagination. Sometimes when you listen to music you feel the need to escape and explore those different thought processes. “Sunken Cathedral” gave me the energy and the peace to be at one with Mother Nature. It’s electric but organic. In other words, I became addicted to chasing the echoes. I wanted to stay within the sound tendrils Glickman and company created.
I highly recommend the stylings of Sandy’s. “Sunken Cathedral” knocked me off my feet. If you’re a fan of bands and artists like Foster The People, Henry Hall, 311 and Yachtclub101, this is a must-listen situation. I also highly encourage fans of the 80s New Wave era to give this a shot. That’s not because the Sandy’s throw in the whole kitchen sink when it comes to electric beats and measures, rather it’s because these Californians have changed the game with their eclectic tones and mesmerizing blends. “Sunken Cathedral” has moved to the very top of my favorite 2021 releases thus far. It’s going to be hard to top this highly imaginative track and I can already see myself mentioning it again in my ‘best of’ notes come December 2021.
by Bethany Page