Gus D Wynns & The Breakers are taking listeners on a journey of seclusion under the hot sun with their EP Suneater. Through the tracks, the band has you feeling a thirst for redemption while looking into the void of an uncertain future. The emotions laced into the music are relatable as they fill you with joy only to bring you back to Earth with melancholy.
This journey was created during the isolation of the pandemic by Jon Gengle (guitar, keyboard, vocals), Tyler Matock (guitar, vocals), Ian Kelman (guitar, vocals, pedal steel, lap steel), Sam Bohlman (bass), Jesse Gray (guitar) and Connor Pritchard (drums). While the band started as an exercise in sonic experimentation, the members started to meld their styles and creativity. This led to the merging of pop sensibilities with acoustic rock, soul and funk that has become a staple of the band’s sound.
The EP opens with ‘Just Yesterday Morning’ which hits you with some easy yet groovy vibes. The guitar line cannot be repressed as it laps against your senses. The hazy vocals have a retro feeling to them that makes you think about surf rock. As the music has you easing through the soundscape, the vocals ground you through their hazy performance. The horns that come through later in the track add to the relaxed vibes of the track. Overall, this is a very chilled opening to the EP.
‘She Don’t Love Me Anymore’ has a melancholic vibe from the first moments. There is a soaring feeling to the melody that makes you think about a light breeze ruffling the trees on a mountain. It is an expansive feeling that is enhanced by the dreamy vocals. There is a light touch of folk to the vocals mixed with some acoustic rock that makes you think of certain 70s bands. The harmonisations are wonderfully executed as the swell of voices inflates the melancholy resting in your chest.
The opening of ‘Sea Foam’ has a more joyful vibe to it before you are drawn into the rock-pop vocals. There is a feeling of power pop resting in the vocals while the melody bubbles with rock guitars. The expansive feeling of the last song continues with this track, but it takes on a different vibe. There is something about this song that puts a smile on your face. It could be the moving melody that has your toes tapping or the lyrics that offer a sense of connection and good vibes.
‘Willow’ sends your brain soaring over the trees with the opening guitar line. The shimmering drums below it add a depth to the music before the airy vocals wash over you. There is a pulling feeling to the vocal performance like it has taken hold of your hands and drawing you further and further out into the sea of sound. The slight swing in the melody later in the track has a very Beatles feeling to it. As the vocals draw you in, they also make you feel like you are staring into a void of uncertainty.
The EP closes with the aptly titled ‘End of It’ which has a stunningly gentle piano line in the opening. The light tones of the piano fuse with the guitars and vocals for an easy chilled vibe. You can just imagine listening to this track while sitting on the cold sand of the beach in the early morning. This imagery is complemented by the lyrics which call for you to meet the day with an easy energy. The track is a great way to end the EP as it lets you down gently while giving you the energy you need to face what your day brings.
Gus D Wynns & The Breakers fuse contrasting musical styles for the easy duality of Suneater. Through the tracks, you feel a chilled vibe rest on your shoulders as you soar with the music. This is tempered with a grounded feeling through the vocals and lyrics.