Sun Arcana – ‘Just Another Dream Away’

By Gem Rogers

Since introducing themselves in March 2018 with the release of debut EP ‘As I Take A Breath…’, Essex four piece Sun Arcana definitely couldn’t be accused of taking it easy. Having played shows across the UK and Europe with the likes of Emarosa, Normandie, Plain White Ts, and The Maine, as well as making appearances at Download and Reading + Leeds Festivals, theirs is an increasingly familiar name for music fans.

The last few months, however, have been dedicated to bringing together ‘Just Another Dream Away’, their five track sophomore EP that sets out to show how much this young band have grown over the last eighteen months. Where ‘As I Take A Breath…’ was a collection of songs that had evolved over a number of years, ‘Just Another Dream Away’ is very much a representation of where Sun Arcana are today; it’s telling that standalone single ‘Let Me Down (Ventilate)’, released earlier this year, doesn’t make an appearance here, and as a result it’s an EP that seems almost like a new beginning.

Opening track and second single ‘What If You Can’t Accept Me?’ instantly brings together the best of Sun Arcana’s sound, underpinned by a weighty bassline that brings a new depth and punch to their stadium-filling, anthemic style. There’s no holding back on the production on these tracks, letting the power of Sun Arcana’s performance shine more clearly than on their debut, with the clarity of front man Tom Harper-Ward’s vocals offering a bewitching contrast to the embracing warmth of the guitars.

The gentle intro of third track ‘Sleep Talking’ leads into what is undoubtedly a highlight of this consistently strong release as it fully showcases the breadth of Harper-Ward’s formidable and emotive vocal strength, deepening the connection with these often poetic lyrics. There’s not much to separate these songs, though, with each carrying a distinctive identity linked by a cohesive and identifiable overall sound. The middle eight cries of “I’m a mess” on ‘Hard To Be Around’ couple with an infectious chorus for their poppiest vibe so far, whilst ‘Through The Night’ is a soaring, airy track reminiscent of summers gone by, the climax of this nostalgic-yet-fresh feeling sound. ‘Find Our Way’ rounds off this all-too-short EP with a darker, potent atmosphere that unleashes in ever increasing increments before easing softly to a close – one last demonstration of Sun Arcana’s versatility and willingness to push themselves in new directions.

There’s a driving force to ‘Just Another Dream Away’ that feels like it’s part of something far bigger, and it does exactly what a great sophomore release should do – illustrating growth and a confidence in their sound that heralds the start of a promising future. Sun Arcana have crafted an EP full of warmth, emotion, and glowing melodies, and it’s one that is absolutely not to be missed this year.

GEM ROGERS

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