“Fresh Air” (SINGLE) by Sun Kiss

As I begin to enter my early thirties, I can’t but help be struck by this feeling of wanting to start over. As you get older you tend to take stock of your life and the people in it, and you’re as critical of yourself as you are of them. There’s a distinct sadness that comes with sometimes realizing that the people that you love in your life, might not always be the best for you or even inversely you might not be the best for them. Themes and ideas like this are extremely potent on “Fresh Air” the latest single by Sun Kiss from their forthcoming self-titled album.

The audio and thematic dissonance is one of the best parts of the song, seeing as how it sounds like your standard lo-fi beat with some charming synths, that could be attached to any lyrical content about how we’re all out here, living our best lives. Some of that is in the song, there’s certainly emphasis on the joys of partying or enjoying the occasional vice or too, but the song is also smart enough to explore the opposite side of that feeling. It’s a common human trait that we tend to mask pain with pleasure or the mask of it, and with lines like “If you love me, why do you hurt me so?” They seem like they come from a tortured romantic place that I think hides an immense pain. The vocal delivery of its lead singer really helps do the heavy lifting on this good single, mainly because of how he’s able to convey so much nuance and thought in very curt words that still have this sort of dream-like flow.

Structurally, the song has an excellent flow and with each reprise of the chorus with its repetitive delivery of “Fresh Air” it almost becomes a Rorschach test of how you can interpret it. Sometimes it’s a beacon of relief as emotions run high like with lines like “Getting fucked up all the time like you got nothing to do” and almost like a plea from the space you exist in with lines like “I want a second chance, but I don’t have the time”. It’s a song that has a lot going on under the hood and it’s something that Sun Kiss has been excelling at for some time now. I could see some detractors put off by the millennial ennui aesthetic, but I’d argue that the song makes a strong case for tapping into the emotional unrest that plenty of people my age are feeling as we get older in this complicated world. It never devolves into navel-gazing which I can’t say about a lot of songs in this genre and that’s something the band should be incredibly proud of.

You can stream the track now on most major music platforms and I’d definitely argue it’s a piece that gets stronger upon each register. Whether you read it as an anthem of second chances, or a condemnation of the present there’s plenty to chew on with “Fresh Air”.

Michael Rand

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