By: Bruce Cowie

Eupana | website | facebook | twitter | bandcamp | 

Released on December 1, 2014 via Independent

I admit, I had never heard of Eupana until they appeared one day on the 6Forty Project’s weekly new music list1. I picked, as I usually do, a random title to check out. Sometimes that works out, sometimes not. This time? Well…

Wait, let’s back up for a minute…  As you, Dear Reader, may, like me, have never heard of Eupana, this would be a good place to offer a little potted biography.

From New York, New York (so good they named it after a city in England), Eupana have been around, on and off, since 2008, rattling around the top right corner of the US. People came, people went, and finally they settled down in 2013. Work started on their first album. This album.

Let’s have a look at it then.

So, what we have here is post-rock, pure and honest. We have the simple melodies, repeated, layer upon layer, wave upon wave. We have the false endings. The tremelo picking. Moments of singular beauty, all bound together with delicate piano and strings. The songs swell and fade organically. Naturally. Like breathing. In and out. In and out. There are none of the sudden explosive climaxes so favoured elsewhere. The peaks – and be assured that they ARE present – are reached gently. You can see them, you know they are coming, you are never hit with an unexpected wall of sound, or an avalanche of noise. Eupana seem to recognise the value of restraint. Nothing is over-worked.

The songs are long, but never uncomfortably so. You (well, I, at least) never want them to hurry up and finish. They are as long as they need to be. Always elegant. Often passionate. Sometimes, like ‘Under a Rising Sun’, a bit playful, with its little dabs of bass and its twinkling piano. Once, a little eerie – sinister even – in ‘Shadow Passes, Light Remains’, the shortest song at a mere nine minutes.

There is, to be fair, more than a hint of Mono2 about Eupana at times, never more so than on the second song, ‘The Night the Stars Fell’, a breathtakingly lovely song, lush with strings, sparkling piano and splashing cymbals. It conjures, in my head at least, images of drifting snow (or cherry blossom, perhaps?) and elegant monochrome cranes. I’ve heard this song many, many times now, and still it never fails to bring a tiny tear to my eye.

Anyway, in homage to Eupana’s reluctance to overdo things, I’m not going to fill pages with endless superlatives. If you’ve read this far you should have got my message. So Many Suns is pure joy. If I had known of Eupana last year when this album was released, it would have made my year-end Top 20 list, Hell, it would have been in the top 5. Really. Go and buy it3.

Footnotes

  1. If you don’t know the 6Forty Project, rectify that right now. Seriously. Just do it.
  2. Well, if you’re going to let your influences show, there are worse bands than Mono to sound like, to be sure.
  3. I did. I wasn’t given this album as an assignment. It wasn’t picked from a list of submissions. I heard it, I loved it and I bought it4.
  4. I really, really like this album.

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