Premiere: Brisbane’s Sunbather Bring Forth Heavy Emotion on Debut EP ‘Brown Bread’

Sunbather © 2020
Sunbather © 2020
Taking from dream-pop and shoegaze influences, Sunbather drive on passion with their debut EP ‘Brown Bread’, a five-track showing of music-lovers who clearly know what they like.
Stream: ‘Brown Bread’ – Sunbather
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Sunbather is the collaboration of two Brisbane-based friends, roommates and music enthusiasts, Sally Latter and Michael Todman. The duo draws inspiration from their shared love of shoegaze and currently have a nice little playlist for further exploration on their Spotify page, alongside two singles of their own. The list includes heavy-hitters such as Cocteau Twins, Slowdive – and yes of course! – Deafheaven, among many other well-known acts. It sets a relatively high standard for their own musical endeavor, but upon ripping through what they have in store a good ten times in advance? I’m pleased to say it hits on certain expectations very well.

Brown Bread EP - Sunbather
Brown Bread EP – Sunbather

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Sunbather’s debut EP Brown Bread (out June 26 via self-release). A five-track project clocking in at just under 19 minutes in length which fly by all too fast. While sharing the same name of the artwork that dons the album’s cover by American-Australian artist Gary Abkin, Latter has been quoted as saying: “The phrase ‘brown bread’ also reminds me of growing up in suburban Australia. I’ve found that personal growth always begins with returning to what shaped me in childhood, so it seemed like a fitting title for an EP that explores these themes.”

Todman, a medical student who upon meeting Latter admitted to having not much experience behind the guitar – and Latter, a graduate lawyer who had only prior sung as a back-up vocalist in her previous project, make music sound easy (if not the start to ABC’s next great sitcom). The EP is polished, well-structured, and the culmination of two people who clearly know what they like. It is a confident debut that is at worst, catchy, at best, something truly special.

Sunbather © 2020
Sunbather © 2020

Sunbather © 2020
Sunbather © 2020

Brown Bread kicks-off with the track “Wide Open.” A slow burn full of crunchy guitar-loops, an echo chamber of reverbed chords, and Latter’s voice (which is an absolute delight) that comes across so clean on top of the instrumentation it feels rather asmr-like.

From here, we enter into what was a personal highlight of the EP, “Softly Spoken.” A dark, yet gorgeous dream-pop track that doubled as the duo’s debut single for very good reasons. The hook is an absolute smash hit, comprised of many various textural elements that evoke a sad, yet mean-mugged expression. Lyrically, the track conjures a strong sense of yearning from a protagonist deep in conversation with a friend they hold close.

I could stay here forever
As far as I know
And the grass on my jumper
It won’t come off
Yeah you speak of it softly
As far as you know
Though I never get it
On the first go

The EP comes to a close on “Life To Come” which, through beautiful build-up, explodes into a slowcore, post-rock finish. Encapsulating a wall of sound, à la Deafheaven meets dream-pop. I will include the full lyrics to the track below as a showing that you don’t need to say much in order to make an impact. It is a painful and brooding love song that still finds ways to breathe so much light into its imagery.

Life to come
Breathe it down into my lungs
Willing arms have swung us together
I am for you
Tread our coastal lines
Your time collapsed with mine
Tangle up the blinds and light streams in
I am for you

Upon finishing the record I cannot say that I have been this excited for an Australian act since the debut of Hatchie, and I can only hope to catch them live one day overseas. For now, here is to an absolute gem of an EP with Brown Bread and the wishing of a bright future to come.

Alongside checking out the EP on June 26, be sure to watch the video-diary filmed, super 8 themed, music video the duo shot for their track “Wide Open” while spending time in Myanmar together. The video allowed for a creative escape and release from Latter’s humanitarian work within the country; helping tackle the largest refugee crisis in the world advocating for the rights of the Rohingya people.

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Stream: ‘Brown Bread’ – Sunbather
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Brown Bread EP - Sunbather

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