by Andrew Crisp
While playing with psychedelic group Magic Lantern from Long Beach, Calif., Cameron Stallones began work on The Phynx EP, his first release under what became the solo project Sun Araw. Since 2007, Sun Araw has been lauded in The New Yorker and The New York Times for its multiple releases.
The band's music, which is often long-form and meanders into perpetuity, centers on Stallones’ multiple avenues of artistic expression. With lengthy liner notes, music videos and elaborate artwork, Stallones conceptualizes the entirety of an album from beginning to end. On stage, he is joined by a full band working with guitar and synth to create droning electronica.
Sun Araw drifts between the concrete and the abstract at random, its music occupying the space between the cerebral and the corporeal, almost as though it is performance art. Yet the product is danceable and groovy at times, reverent and soulful at others—particularly with its most recent release, the eight-track Ancient Romans.
The songs often take a page from the dub step book, relying on bass and synthesizer to create dreamscapes that defy time and reason. What’s more, Sun Araw seems crafted in a vacuum free of record labels and other commercial baggage, letting Stallones’ psychedelic rock wander where it may. What was once an esoteric retreat for Stallones is now a living, breathing organism capable of walking on land with its own legs.
Sun Araw will play Treefort Music Fest on Friday, March 23, at 11 p.m. at the Linen Building main stage.