Review: The Naked Sun – Space, Place, and Time

2690322328-1Citing a 1957 novel from science fiction writer Isaac Asimov as the basis of your band’s name may lead to head scratching. Compound that by naming your first album Space, Place, and Time, one can’t be faulted for assuming your band may lean towards the weightier side of music, namely prog rock.

With lyrics such as the following the association may still ring true:

Crave time, then it’s gone
Run with the ghosts of yesterday
Stay up in the dark
All night, all alone

Factor in that the three elements comprising the EP’s title figure prominently and you may concede a concept album.

Not so in the case of Philadelphia’s The Naked Sun. After a few listens to their debut EP released today, Space, Place, and Time, the self-coined “honest rock” term is more apt. The emotional, mid-tempo music that ebbs and flows along its own path throughout these four songs is genuine. Prog rock this is not.

To start, the sparse yet steady interplay between the two guitars, bass, drums and occasional piano provides space for these songs to breath, allowing the listener to reflect on the themes voiced by singer Drew Harris. The voice of Harris is warm, at times necessarily tired and always perfect for the song at hand. Well suited for the varied subject matter — sweat shop employees; soldiers in the Middle East; metaphysics; existentialism — his intonation and phrasing brings to mind Anders Parker (Varnaline, New Multitudes), most notably on “Fatigue.” His airy, plaintive vocals provide the needed freedom on the EP’s brief closing track, “Rough Diamond.”

But don’t leave
Don’t leave me now
But it’s simple: you’re a wave
And the moon is pullin’ you away

The constant that runs throughout Space, Place, and Time is the dynamic between verse and chorus. With only four songs — the structure of each being different — marked verses tend to be on the subtler side, with rising choruses serving to accentuate the human condition. Repetition drives these songs. The rhythmic patterns lend themselves to the reality of our own existence.

For a first outing, no effort is wasted nor is there any misstep to be heard on this debut EP. Space, Place, and Time is a concise yet condensed showcase for a band just starting out. While a somber, restrained affair, Space, Place, and Time is indeed conceptual in title and nature.

Spend some time with Space, Place, and Time today by streaming the EP below.

The Naked Sun are celebrating the release of Space, Place, and Time tonight, playing with The Way Home at Philadelphia’s Fleisher Art Memorial.

Watch The Naked Sun perform “Ash St. Harmony Blues” from their demo EP at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia below.

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Space, Place, and Time reviewed by Bucket Full of Nails | The Naked Sun

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