Daniel Haggis and Tord Øverland Knudsen have enjoyed success with The Wombats including a stream of iconic indie tracks which are cemented into the minds of a generation. Their new project Sunship Balloon, without front man Matthew Murphy (who has gone on to do his own side project, Love Fame Tragedy), is light years away from their former sound. Their debut, Everywhen is unequivocally one of the most celestial albums you are likely to hear in 2020.
The album’s opening track ‘1982’ is the perfect amuse bouche for what is in store, inviting you to kick back from the everyday grind and unwind the mind. It is less a track and more a sonic symphony. With the clever use of a looping, pitch-shifted glockenspiel, the gorgeous synths envelope you with an overwhelming sense of calm.
‘Interstellar Ride’ builds slowly with soft lyrics and is a beautifully juxtaposed song, reflecting on the dark and light side of everyday life. Lyrically highlighting the tricks the brain plays on you as you go about your day, the song’s overall message invites you to see the positive aspects of life – an increasingly important message given world events in 2020. The middle section asks, “does anybody know why we’re here? Because I haven’t got a fucking clue,” before offering a beacon of hope, “let’s keep to the brighter side, come on let’s do it”.
Everywhen is not all dreamy sonicscapes though, it also delves into the struggle of staying sane or relevant in a modern world with the effect that constant pressure has on our psyche. ‘Hashtag World’ which offers a look at the perils of trying to constantly produce content in a world that has gone mad with the need to portray positivity on social media, “pretend to be perfect, we all know the truth” they comment as the song winds to its close.
The title track sees the album come back to a place of calm and offers another stunning instrumental, before ‘Halcyon Days’ invites us to let go of our perceptions, put down our phones and take in the world around us.
If you think the lyrics are far out then you need to watch the videos created by Marta Brodacka – the themes are as otherworldly as the record.
Everywhen revels in its fluidity. With the duo already having a stratospheric career under their belts, this Sunship Balloon project feels like two mates going wild with creativity, and it is all the better for it.
In our interview with Sunship Balloon, the band revealed they have more than enough new material for album number two already. Based on this scintillating debut, their second album cannot come soon enough.