Los Angeles indie-pop quartet, Bad Suns, garnered quite the buzz in 2014 with their debut album, Language & Perspective. Now, Christo Bowman, Gavin Bennett, Miles Kottak and Ray Libby have unleashed their sophomore effort, Disappear Here, and while I have to admit, I wasn’t very keen on the direction they went with this record at first, I do recognize the immense time and effort spent on growing their sound. It just took a few listens before I felt truly immersed.
Opening with lead single and title track, “Disappear Here” is a cry to the one you thought you knew as everything starts to really crumble in front of you. What I’ve always loved about Christo Bowman’s lyrics is that he manages to pinpoint everything I could never put into words so simply. With the pre-chorus of, “I’m right / I’m wrong / I’m everything but sure,” I could probably use that for every major decision I’ve ever had to make and then some. It’s rough losing the one person you thought you’d spend forever with but even worse to have them become a stranger to you.
The first time I heard “Heartbreaker,” I was pleasantly surprised as 80’s vibes run rampant throughout the entire track while it looks like the same girl that once disappeared is causing the poor man strife yet again. This one deserves a video right away!
“Off She Goes” is a major departure from what we’re used to from the band while offering up some lyrical gems with, “What’s on your mind as you’re staring behind and I’m on my own in your arms tonight” – an anthem for the deep thinkers and introverted souls of the world who are always in their heads.
“Even In My Dreams, I Can’t Win” made me chuckle merely by its title as I can totally relate lately. This one can act as a sequel to “Transpose” as it continues on the notion of delusional mistakes and defeat while “Patience” is the long-awaited breakthrough for Bowman, and let’s be honest, ourselves. “All my dreams have been weighing me down like an anchor to my bed / I can live my life instead,” sings the chorus; sort of like a hallelujah to everything that has ever kept us from moving forward.
“Swimming In The Moonlight” is a nice change of pace as Bowman offers up his possible first love song that doesn’t feature undertones of resistance from either side with a lovely 80’s synthpop backdrop. “Daft Pretty Boys” takes on the notion of falling for outer appearances while the inside is pretty empty of any substance – something we all can relate to at one point.
Personal album highlight, “Maybe We’re Meant To Be Alone,” delves deep into how we fall for the images in our heads of how it’s supposed to be while we make the same mistakes of loving the wrong people time after time, making us believe that we’re meant to be alone. The part of, “Sometimes I fantasize about faking my own death just to see how it would make you feel,” has honestly (and selfishly) felt like the ultimate relationship test to my generation as we often feel like we’re taken for granted.
“How Am I Not Myself” feels like a 90’s throwback to when alternative rock ruled MTV and the airwaves while album closer “Outskirts of Paradise” continues on that notion but with that familiar Bad Suns feel as Bowman reminds us that as hard as this life may be sometimes, there’s still so much to be grateful for.
“When the time comes separate yourself, integrate yourself.”
Disappear Here is available now here.