Sunday, November 27, 2011
Setting Sun Gets Fantasurreal
Singer songwriter, Gary Levitt is a prolific artist with an alter identity. Posing as Setting Sun, he's allowed to take the folk-pop template and rearrange completely so that the result is something that's palatable. His fourth album as Setting Sun, Fantasurreal, is a jaunty trip through a Terry Gilliam created world where indie pop is broadcast from the clouds. Like something out of Monty Python and sounding something like one of the "funnest" bands on the planet, Setting Sun create music that's pretty much destined to put a smile on your face.
A fantastic record of giddy pop, Fantasurreal doesn't seemed to be troubled by anything at all; Setting Sun could be having the worst day in the world but judging by the jangly pop contained here you would never know it. This record is a sugar rush of folky pop that's been turned upside down, flipped, wrapped in electronics and then left to sound something like an unreleased Beck/Decemeberists collaborative album from the early 90's. If you can imagine well produced K Records (which Beck was part of) sort of stuff then you should be able to get your head around this band. Loaded with horns, strings, all sorts of jangly and acoustic guitars, and a sleepy approach to singing, Fantasurreal is the sort of thing that's so rich with sound that the folk pop tag seems too limiting.
Melodic and animated, Setting Sun proves time and time again that you can do so much with a genre that's generally tired and cliche. Gary Levitt is one heck of a songwriter and Fantasurreal is packed with lite and fanciful pop songs that make him seem like a hippy on happy pills. From the lazy sighs of, "The Tree," to the nearly theatrical, "Sympathetic CEO," Fantasurreal is an adventure in pop music that's to good to ever end.