This past August, I featured the marvelously trippy single “Naked Monkey on a Spaceship” by British psychedelic pop/rock band Solar Eyes, which you can read here. Now the Birmingham trio, who are comprised of Glenn Smyth, Tom Ford and Sebastian Maynard-Francis, are back with a fantastic new single “I See the Sun“. Like their two previous releases “Acid Test” and “Naked Monkey on a Spaceship”, both of which included B-side tracks, “I See the Sun” is the A-side, with a B-side track “Where Are We Going Now?” As for why they’re releasing multiple songs each time, Glenn told me he has a huge stockpile of songs he’s already written, and just wants to get them out into the world and into our ears. Well, their songs are all so good that we’re more than happy to hear them! “I See the Sun” & “Where Are We Going Now?” is their third release in six months, with many more to come.
“I See the Sun” was born from a conversation Glenn had with the band’s mixing engineer Jeff Knowler. After Glenn mentioned to Jeff that he’d written a cool ’60s-sounding Tarantino-esque track on his newly acquired 12 string guitar, Jeff suggested that he watch Tarantino’s film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood before recording the track. Glenn took Jeff’s advice, and went up to his sweltering attic studio, where he found inspiration in the resounding reverb and echo chambers of late 60s music. He presented his recording to Jeff, who then put Once Upon A Time In Hollywood on loop in the background while he mixed Glenn’s track. The result is a gorgeous, cinematic song, highlighted by twangy western-style guitars that would make Ennio Morricone proud.
Everything about this song is perfect, beginning with that jolting opening guitar note to the infectious, galloping drumbeat, the swirling cinematic synths, castanet-like percussive sounds, soaring harmonies and, most of all, those fabulous spaghetti-western guitars. Then there are Glenn’s beautiful, reverb-drenched vocals as he sings of his eternal love for another: “I see the sun. The light shines on you and me. And that’s the way it’s meant to be, for eternity.” What a great song this is, and I’m loving this band.
“Where Are We Going Now” is equally beautiful and cinematic, and overflowing with more of those wonderful twangy western guitars. As with their previous videos, the colorful animated video for “I See the Sun” was created by Matt Watkins, a videographer, lighting and visual design producer who’s a frequent collaborator with Gorillaz.