Solar Eyes thrive on their unique debut

Birmingham-based band Solar Eyes delve successfully into the world of experimental indie on their debut, self-titled album, which cohesively brings together the highlights of their releases since 2022.

Whether it’s Tame Impala’s synth and production or Arctic Monkeys’ 2000s rock which you prefer, you can find a mix of both on Solar Eyes. Grappling with an overarching theme of identity and confusion, the duo (Glenn Smyth and Sebastian Maynard Francis) make an emphatic statement on the record.

Many bands stay in one lane nowadays, but Solar Eyes covers all grounds, opening the record with distorted vocals and a punchy guitar on ‘Alcatraz’ and defining ‘She Kissed The Gun’ and ‘Roll The Dice’ with electric guitars and driven drumbeats, echoing traditional indie-rock. ‘Top Of The World’ is a track which you can sway to in a festival crowd with your friends and ‘(At Least) Paranoia Loves You’ presents a traditional, up-tempo, catchy indie-rock track which will definitely be an audience-pleaser.

Yet, the duo play into psychedelic indie too. Distorted vocals are a key feature of the record, as ‘Deep Trip’ creates a hazy world with its production and ‘It’s Gone Forever’ uses echoed vocals combined with instrumentals that emphasise the band’s ability to genre-blend and give indie a little edge.

Another strength of the album is that it is strong visually, with each track creating its own world ─ this is something that carries through to the band’s illusionary artwork for their entire discography. ‘Alcatraz’ opens the record with a protagonist desperately trying to escape confinement, ‘Dreaming Of The Moon’ takes the listener to an old-style American saloon with its instrumentation and ‘Acid Test (The Walls Are Closing In On Me)’ represents the feelings of highs and lows in a two-part track.

This tone shift is something which Solar Eyes explores in multiple areas of the album to add to its unique sound and highlight its lyrical excellence, as there is more than one instance where they combine two tracks into one. The variation continues into standalone songs too ─ listeners can find a sweet love song in ‘Top Of The World’ but also find deeper tracks tackling confinement and identity in ‘Alcatraz’ and ‘Acid Test (The Walls Are Closing In On Me)’.

The record as a whole is strong, but in the future it would be interesting to see the band explore acoustic, slower and shorter tracks for differentiation. Nevertheless, Solar Eyes have clearly shown that they stand out with their unique and psychedelic sound on their debut, setting them in good stead for the future.

A stellar debut
Forms Solar Eyes’ bold statement
On the indie scene

Solar Eyes’ eponymous, debut record is available 16th February on all major streaming platforms. Pre-save the record right here.

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