SOYSV – Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor – Good Goddamn
SOYSV also known as Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor’s newest album Good Goddamn has arrived with quality sound, dynamic compositions, strong singles and vocal forward songwriting. The album is a reflection of the psychological and emotional toll of the covid-19 reality displaying a disjointed and scattered state of mind. The songs transition from stripped down guitar, bass, and drum with alternative rock vocals to dense layers of instrumentation. Good Goddamn is about the joy of living and the pain of being alive in trying times.
The first single from the new album ‘She Makes A Great Parade’ features echoing vocals, and rich droning backdrop of trailing notes. The song is a good example of how the band is stretching into new musical territory while embracing the edgy psychedelia of their past.
The guitars are echoing and present, the vocals are forward and embrace popular melodies. Synthesizers plays pitch shifted notes and hums along building density. The guitars get wild and dirty at select moments in the song before entering into lead lines. The drums and the bass establish a strong foundation throughout. Then at the end the sound strips back and reveals a horn section that carries the melody through the outro.
SOYSV are from Detroit, Michigan USA and released their first album self-titled in 2009. The first album was created at their own Space Camp Studios. Good Goddamn is the fifth full-length and marks a change in musical direction. SOYSV has a DIY philosophy recording, mixing, producing and writing their own albums. This gives them the freedom to have full control over the final sound of the album.
The early albums were inspired by contemporary psychedelic rock. They trended with tones used by bands like The Black Angels and Brain Jonestown Massacre. They had a darker sound and were experimental with wild tones and splashing echo and reverb. The guitars were forefront and layered in effects and unique riffs with a hint of retro flare encased in its dark fuzz sound.
On the 2017 release Lavender Blood SOYSV was a transition between the dark psych fuzzed out rock of of the past and the new style on Good Goddamn. Lavender Blood had a number of stripped back songs focusing on the vocals but were driven by lysergic instrumentation with dreamy atmospheres and off kilter chords.
SOYSV’s European and UK tours built a strong fan base. They played the Levitation Music Festival multiple times sharing the stage with the heavy weights of the psych rock genre. The band has maintained its original line-up for the entire 12 years of their career while controlling the entire process of album creation. They have been highly underrated while getting decent placement and visibility at festivals and on tours.
Good Goddam is an expressive album that has erratic shifts from quiet to loud giving the songs an emotional drive. The instrumentation dramatically moves from stripped back to thick layers of pushed vocals, fuzz guitar, buzzsaw synth and horns. The vocals are more forward than in the past they are raw, exposed and emotive. The raw edge of the vocals can break the smooth flow of the songs adding an accented moment to the tracks.
The instrumentation is varied with guitar, bass, drums, beat machines, synth, trumpets, and saxophones. This expanded set of instruments allows SOYSV to bring new elements to their sound. The challenge with this is the departure from the sound of the past releases. The new musical style pushes the band to evolve. They are moving to a sound with more mass appeal but this journey is in development on Good Goddamn and has not found its’ final form.
The transitions between sections can be abrupt, and unexpected. This supports the psychological theme of the album and makes for unexpected twists and turns in the arc of the album. The production recording mixing and mastering all sound great with the band pushing itself to do something different and to do it well.
SOYSV makes major moves on Good Goddamn which can be highly inspired and expand the skill set of the band as well as reach new audiences but making a big shift is a formidable challenge. SOYSV’s move toward a more popular indie sound is on full display and feels like it could lead to great albums. They navigate this transition with grace even though it does not feel fully cohesive. This fact is not a downside as it gives the well produced sound an element of raw creativity and forthright inspired energy. With that said the theme of the album is about the joy of living juxtaposed with the hardship of living in difficult times. This psychologically heavy theme is supported with the musical choices on the album.
Overall, the quality of sound on Good Goddamn is some of the best from SOYSV. The production is refined, the instruments are rich and well played. The songs show strong growth and sees the band challenging themselves to expand into new arenas. Good Goddamn has several singles like ‘She Makes A Great Parade’ which can stand on their own. The album as a whole feels exploratory with the band in the process of developing a sound that is related to the past but also a departure from previous releases. It is always good for bands to break their own limitation and push new creative energy into their music and SOYSV are up for the challenge. Good Goddamn is sure to generate a buzz around the psych rock scene adding another excellent album to their portfolio.