Premiere: navel grazr’s Cosmic Indie Rock Reverie “Sun Doesn’t Rise” Is a Song of Sonic & Emotional Fuzz

navel grazr © Rita Iovine
navel grazr © Rita Iovine
New York City’s navel grazr ruminate on fuzzy memories with fuzzy sounds in their dreamy new single “Sun Doesn’t Rise,” a cosmic indie rock reverie full of aching and yearning.
Stream: “Sun Doesn’t Rise” – navel grazr




Every memory we have is a snapshot of a moment in time – a slice of life forever frozen in our minds – but we ourselves are not snapshots: We are fluid beings with ever-changing, ever-evolving perspectives and identities. We are so much more than any one memory of us can ever summate, and with time, those freeze-frames are less and less relevant to reality – ultimately becoming unreliable narrators, especially in today’s fast-paced world.

Still, if we don’t have our memories, then what do we have – especially when it comes to our faraway loved ones? New York City’s navel grazr ruminate on fuzzy memories with fuzzy sounds in their dreamy new single “Sun Doesn’t Rise,” a cosmic indie rock reverie full of aching and yearning, distress and unrest.

It’s a song dwelling in that flux, and how it manifests itself – for better and for worse – in some of our most cherished relationships.

Sun Doesn't Rise - navel grazr © Anjali Nair
Sun Doesn’t Rise – navel grazr © Anjali Nair
The sun doesn’t rise here
Not that I would know
Tomorrow from the other day
When you told me you were closer to god
I’ll fold in the same way
Just skirt around in the same daze

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Sun Doesn’t Rise,” navel grazr’s fifth career song release and the lead single off their upcoming debut EP, Elegies (independently out April 2024).

Founded by Anjali Nair (vocalist/guitarist of the bands Dog In A Man Suit, Endearments, and Joyce), navel grazr began as a bedroom songwriting side-project in 2019; a “no-pressure creative refuge” in which Nair could be whoever she wanted to be and make whatever she wanted to make.

navel grazr © Rita Iovine
navel grazr © Rita Iovine



Four years on, Nair teamed up with producer/multi-instrumentalist Dominic Dellaquila of Project Diem, and together the pair brought what had become an increasingly intimate and personal musical endeavor to light with an atmospheric, cinematic, and dark dream pop sound. To listen to navel grazr’s music is to be enveloped in a soul’s raw churning, and nowhere does that truth resonate more so than on “Sun Doesn’t Rise,” the first look at the project’s expanded sonic identity.

While navel grazr’s sound inches steadily outward, Nair’s songwriting has never felt more vulnerable and exposed. For her, “Sun Doesn’t Rise” is an achingly intense reflection on family, identity, perspective, time, and distance. The song’s chorus captures the meaning, and the fragility, of the moment:

I’m not the kid you remember
Not the loss that drove you crazy
You’re on your way out of this place
I’m not far away
navel grazr © Rita Iovine
navel grazr © Rita Iovine



“‘Sun Doesn’t Rise’ explores themes of closeness and distance from a physical and emotional perspective,” Nair tells Atwood Magazine. “It’s not meant to have a clear narrative lyrically, but rather progress in a stream of conscious flow – patchy renderings of places and moments, reflecting the nature of childhood memory.”

“I wrote it with my grandmother in mind, but it generally encapsulates things I struggle with in relation to my identity. As someone who moved to the US when I was 8, I do have memories intact from my younger childhood years in India. But sometimes, they’re faint, and I wonder how true they are. The song describes feelings of guilt I have about not being better at staying in touch with family members and preserving those connections.”

Nair confronts that constant struggle between memory and identity head-on in the song’s poetic second verse, imploring us to consider how those images we construct are just that – constructed images of what once was (or might have been), but is not necessarily true any longer.

What good is a name nowadays?
I turned the corner I could’ve stopped
It’s reflecting poorly now
In memories you recount to me
Just collecting dust in the dark
navel grazr © Rita Iovine
navel grazr © Rita Iovine



Yet if we can’t rely on our memories – of those still with us, and those who have since passed – then we don’t have much. Nair recognizes the conundrum, and while there’s a sadness in her acceptance of this inevitable truth, she finds a way to spin it into a positive: Our snapshots make us feel closer to those we love, no matter how far they may be from us, and no matter how much they have grown.

“The chorus is directed at my grandma more explicitly and touches on loss,” she adds. “Her perception of me will always be as the little kid I was when I left, and not the person I am now. She clings to that image and almost exclusively tells stories from that time whenever we talk, even over the years as I’ve grown.”

“I feel sad about us not getting to create new meaningful memories together, and also just the effect of my leaving on her as she gets older. “I’m not far away” as a refrain has many meanings over the course of the song – but I think the last time you hear it, it lands in a hopeful space; it’s saying I’m thinking of her, and cosmically, am never too far away.”

I’m not the kid you remember
not the loss that drove you crazy
You’re on your way out of this place
But I’m not far away
I’m not far away
navel grazr © Rita Iovine
navel grazr © Rita Iovine



“Sun Doesn’t Rise” is a remarkable (re)introduction to navel grazr, and a stunning look at what’s to come from the rising NYC act – which will include Billie Seeland (bass) and Jack Weiss (drums) in upcoming live shows (they’re set to debut at Brooklyn’s Alphaville on February 15).

Musically speaking, “Sun Doesn’t Rise” is a warm and radiant cosmic reverie. Dellaquila’s string and synth arrangements help elevate Nair’s visceral lyricism and vivid vocal performance to the next level, capturing a nostalgia and dreaminess that feels embedded not just in navel grazr’s identity, but in Nair’s humanity as well.

“I love that the song still has an underlying grit or tension, like a layer of distortion underneath everything that bursts through in moments, like the pre-chorus and some of the guitar solos,” Nair smiles. “The instrumental outro feels like a release of all the tension and emotion building earlier in the song.”

“Sun Doesn’t Rise” does, in fact, end on a hopeful note, but it takes four full minutes of hazy, beautiful brooding to get there. Stream navel grazr’s new single and music video exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for more to come from the group as they unveil their debut EP. Elegies is set to release April 2024; you might even say it’s not far away

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Stream: “Sun Doesn’t Rise” – navel grazr



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Sun Doesn't Rise - navel grazr © Anjali Nair

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? © Rita Iovine
art © Anjali Nair

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