Music Review: No drums, no problems

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From left, hasan Azam, Nate Johnson, and Noah Ramirez make up Sunsick, an indie band based out of Corona
By Mac Shepherd

In the fall of 2018, what could have been “Beesly” or “Pocket Sand” became “Sunsick,” a Corona based indie/pop trio consisting of lead singer Noah Ramirez, bassist Hasan Azam, and guitarist Nate Johnson.

The trio bonded over their shared love of song in a high school music club and then went on to form Sunsick in the fall of 2018.

These college students are remaining focused on their individual academic pursuits in business, computer science and environmental economics, while simultaneously working towards making a name for themselves in the music industry.

Sunsick’s slow takeover of backyard indie started off early this year when they released “Swallow Your Gum,” an acoustic version of their current single. This culminated in the release of their EP in August, titled “The Daydream Demos,” which is available to stream on Youtube.

The trio put their own spin on a familiar and classic sound, being influenced by the likes of Paul McCartney and The Beach Boys, as well as newcomers such as Wallows and Djo. The result is effortlessly cool, with “The Daydream Demos” making the local indie scene that much more compelling.

Azam shed some light on the inspiration behind their EP. “I’d like it to be something clever, like climate change or the futility of human existence,” Azam said. “But mostly, it was just about girls.”

It’s clear that when it comes to Sunsick, what you see is what you get.

It’s through the single “Swallow Your Gum” where we first get a glimpse into Sunsick’s musical capabilities. Ramirez’s gritty voice perfectly contrasts the sickly-sweet melodies that continue throughout the rest of the EP, proving to be the perfect guide through the shaky waters of “post-high school experiences” as Johnson puts it.

“Any Other Summer” follows, telling the relatable story of the struggles involved with adolescent love. Lyrically, this is Sunsick at their strongest.
The members further experiment by allowing lead guitarist Nate to take the vocal reigns for the first verse. It is an unexpected change that adds to the depth of the song and leaves us wondering what else this trio might have under their sleeve.

“Sweet Tea” is arguably the most sonically interesting track on the EP. In a song that comes to just over two minutes long, the group manages to capture their unique charm and show an impressive command over musical language. It perfectly encapsulates the nostalgic and sugar-coated fantasy of “The Daydream Demos.”
The EP ends on a high note with “Bowling Shoes.” Here the group allows themselves room to experiment by moving away from upbeat pop-influenced tunes to more realized and mature material. “I feel alone / I feel alone / I feel alone” is continuously repeated, giving listeners a glimpse into a more emotionally vulnerable side that had not yet been explored.
“The Daydream Demos” transports listeners to a world of bittersweet teenage bliss. Simple stories of fumbling first loves and adolescent confusion are turned into slick, nostalgic, odes to youth. Simply put, this EP is a coming of age story serving as an interesting introduction to a group with endless potential.

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