[video of the week] Sungaze – This River

Track taken from “Light in All of It”, out via Whited Sepulchre Records.

Sungaze is a Cincinnati-based three-piece band whose deeply studied and emotionally resonant sound floats between the effervescent sheen of early 90’s Shoegaze and the hypnotic, sunbaked drone of modern psych. Sungaze formed after guitarist Ian Hilvert’s metal band dissolved. While initially started as a bedroom project of Hilvert, keyboardist Ivory Snow eventually joined the group as a keyboardist and vocalist. The husband and wife duo – like any solid relationship – brought their own influences to the project, with Hilvert counting Opeth, Mastadon and Washed Out as major influencers while Snow’s inspirations are solidly in the 70’s with Neil Young and Gordon Lightfoot as spiritual predecessors.

“Light in All of It” is full of slowburning compositions that float in through opened windows on warm summer nights, with Snow’s commanding vocals coming in through the middle distance and Hilvert’s guitars wrapping themselves around each melody like a curl of smoke from an extinguished candle. These two forces come together to create searing leads on tracks like “New Familiar” and “This River” which effortlessly recall the Goswell / Halstead connection on classic Slowdive tracks, while “Samsara” and “Hymn” push off into spectral planes of sundrenched psych.

Thematically, the album tackles the themes of loss and coming to terms with identity—with the acceptance and integration of experiences as the connective tissues between disparate liminal states and waking lives.

About the video: “We’d had a vision of filming a desert-themed music video for this song ever since the first progression was written. I also kept feeling a strong pull toward Texas, even though none of us had ever been before, so I combined the two yearnings into one and a few months later we found ourselves on our first tour, in the middle of which we spent three days in the town of Turkey, TX (home of famed folk artist Bob Wills, population 389) filming our second music video. We stayed at the historic Hotel Turkey and the indoor scenes were filmed in our room’s bathroom and in the upstairs hallway, while the desert scenes were filmed at Caprock Canyons State Park.



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