"It’s not about thinking what might be… but appreciating what you already have" - 30 years later, The Suncharms release their long overdue debut LP
The Suncharms is making a long-awaited return in 2021, just three years after their 2016 re-emergence with The Suncharms Discography. And now once again the purveyors of the shoegaze indie alt-rock scene are back at it and 30-years on they’ve finally released their debut album, Distant Lights.
It goes without saying that it’s been a particularly long gestation period for the band, particularly since their first two EPs were released way back in 1991 and they had even recorded a Peel session which was broadcast in 1992. It’s been quite the journey for the Sheffield five-piece, who originally formed back in 1989 before going their separate ways in 1993, just as it seemed that the shoegaze scene was fading out for good.
Many years passed and all of a sudden the band’s name was being bandied about once more. A rebirth of the shoegaze scene saw interest growing once more and The Suncharms were being name-checked by fans in America, Japan and even Hawaii.
“Basically what happened was, I went and Googled whether anyone even remembered our band and I came across a magazine blog called Cloudberry Records in New York, he said he was in Miami and he’d been playing two EPs from The Suncharms and just wondered what had happened to the band”
This started the dialogue that led to the release of a retrospective album of their two EPs and a bunch of unreleased music from their archives. A self-titled album, The Suncharms, spurred the band to get back together.
“We all got back together and brought along all our old photos, press cuttings and that got us thinking, hold on, we’re all here and what would it be like if we all met up in a rehearsal room. We met up after 20-odd years and started writing new songs”
Their collective renewed vigour resulted in the creation of a few tracks and the rekindling of communications with a record label called Slumberland — in 1993 The Suncharms had sent off their last song, which had sadly got lost in the post before they disbanded.
No such mistakes were made this time around and this new approach resulted in the songs, Red Dust (released in 2018) and Film Soundtrack, “they were like 7” singles that were released on vinyl and also downloadable, it were wonderful and for years it was just Richard, the bass player and myself who stayed in touch. But it felt so good to put it right, it’s not often you get a second chance, do ya?”
Since then the band named after the Yorkshire fizzy drink, Suncharm has been positively fizzing with ideas.
“We played a bit of a homecoming show at Record Junkee, just off The Moor, in Sheffield and that went really well. We’ve done loads of things since 2016, we have also released a split-tape EP with Shiny Happy Records in Indonesia”, Cosmonauts was a split-tape release with slow core Indonesian band, Mirrorlakes.
Finally after 30-years, The Suncharms released their long overdue debut album, Distant Lights, complete with album artwork by the band’s drummer Chris Ridley. It’s an undeniably psychedelic journey of melancholia to another time in indie music, a thorough rebirth of a genre long thought gone. If you were a fan of the work of The Stone Roses, My Bloody Valentine or the likes of Loop and Ride, you’ll be right at home here. “I was listening to the album while walking to Sainsburys and I was thinking to myself, ‘how have we done this?’ It’s a magical thing. We’ve come together like five individuals, all with different ideas and this is the result. It’s brilliant really”.
“If I had to say what the album is about, it’s about not wanting to spend your life looking for those distant lights. It’s not about thinking what might be… but appreciating what you already have. Yeah… it’s about not lamenting what you don’t have”
So what’s next for The Suncharms? “Well basically, it’s going to be, get some gigs booked in where we can. Then start writing the second album, we’re already halfway there now. We’ve got five or six new songs, and then hopefully get our name back out there again”
We’d love to gig at The Leadmill, it would be the perfect venue. We’ve played there in the past in the early 90s, so getting to gig there again would be great.”
The Suncharms debut album, Distant Lights was released by Sunday Records and is out now on all streaming platforms.
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