Hailing from New Hampshire in America’s North East, Party Of The Sun is the musical project of songwriter Ethan McBrien, accompanied by producer and multi-instrumentalist Rory Hurley. The two are also known as members of funk/rock fusion band, The Youngest Son, although on this project they explore an altogether different musical avenue, a classically American take on folk music. Next week will see Party Of The Sun put out their debut EP, Lay Low, and today we’re delighted to be streaming it ahead of its release
The tracks that make up the band’s debut release first began to take shape back in the Autumn of 2015. Hauled up at Ethan’s home, a sheep farm in Marlborough, the pair started collaborating and Party Of The Sun were born. Theirs is a modern take on the classic Appalachian folk sound; as with acts like Hiss Golden Messenger or Kevin Morby, Party Of The Sun infuse the old sound with a lush modern production. The warm burr of electric guitars, accompanied by pedal steel, mandolin, the lightest of percussive touches and Ethan’s honeyed, yearning vocals.
Lyrically too, Lay Low is a record that takes on classical subject matter; love, family, nature and finding your purpose in life, yet it does so with a nuance and sophistication that makes it stand out from the crowd of Americana also-rans. There’s a mix of melancholy and optimism throughout, the constant feeling that even in the darkness, there’s always, as he sings in Carried Away, the hope that, “there’s an awful lot of blue sky honey, circling around our heads”. It’s probably in recent single, and EP stand out, Heart Like Gold, that Ethan’s words shine brightest, a stunning character study of a girl with, “a heart like gold, and tears like waves breaking slow down her face”.
Currently on tour in the US, these are very exciting times for Party Of The Sun; the songs may have been a number of years in the making, but it’s hard not to feel that this particular party is only just getting going.