It might be fifteen years since the NME descended on the UK’s biggest county and declared, “New Yorkshire”, a movement, yet that doesn’t stop me seemingly featuring a band from Sheffield most weeks on this site at the moment. The city is definitely going through something of a moment, and much of it seems to be focusing around Bingo Records, including today’s featured artist, Sun Drift. The project of songwriter Zach Barfoot, Sun Drift’s second album, Lucky, is out this Friday, and guess what, it’s rather excellent.
Lucky started life on, “a broken tape-machine”, and for Zach is something of a sonic departure, foregoing his previous production-led recordings, for something simpler, tapping into a rich vein of classic-pop. The influences of The Beatles and The Byrds is evident across the record as warm acoustic guitars meld with sun-dappled melodies and a breezy rhythmic sway. From the Sweet Baboo-like ditty of Call Your Name to The Shins-like majesty of Lose Myself, Lucky is a record that revels in its instrumental limitations, discovering some magic in the joy of restraint. That said, perhaps best of all is the title track, where he casts off some of the self-policed shackles, and embraces rapid-guitars and chiming, almost mariachi horns, channelling the spirit of Beirut or Neutral Milk Hotel. Zach might call it lucky, yet to my ears there’s no luck involved, just a hugely talented songwriter falling head-over-heels for timeless pop; we’re all just lucky he wants to share it with us.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Sun Drift?
Sun Drift is just me (Zac Barfoot,) songs I write and record in my bedroom usually. Live I tend to play with a band made up of different friends depending on who is free and willing to play with me.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
What I remember about my first show is getting way too worried about playing everything right that I probably had a miserable time! But it taught me not to take myself too seriously which has been a help.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
I guess I make music because I naturally gravitated towards it, I don’t feel like I’ve had the same draw towards any other form of art or expression. But who knows, one day I may get bored and try something else.
FTR: What can people expect from the Sun Drift live show?
I have no idea when the next Sun Drift show will be, but people can expect us to try our best to have fun and play some sweet music for whoever is willing to listen.
FTR: What’s next for Sun Drift?
Next up for Sun Drift is hopefully to keep making albums, if ideas keep coming!
They Listen To…
Arthur Russell – I Never Get Lonesome
Townes Vans Zandt – Fare Thee Well, Miss Carousel
LUWUM – A Weird Flash
Chris Cohen – Green Eyes
Cut Worms – Sold My Soul