By Molly McCoy
On August 13th, 2021, Provo indie rock band The Solarists released their third EP, Unlucky. The Solarists is composed of Clint Purser (bass/sax/vocals), Nate Wall (lead guitar/vocals), Justin Dunkley (drums), and Kaua Sprout (rhythm guitar/vocals). They released their first EP back in 2016 and have had a steady release of singles – along with another EP in 2018. In six songs The Solarists showcase catchy guitar riffs, memorable lyrics, and some good old fashioned instrumental solos.
The maturity in their songwriting is readily heard in the first song. If you have had the chance to see them live you know what a good show they put on. They engage the crowd and you can see the joy they feel playing live. This album captures that energy. Their music gives off a great summer vibe: going on long drives with your friends, windows down in the hot summer air with some good solid rock music playing on the radio. Wherever or however you choose to listen to their music, you definitely won’t be disappointed. It’s versatile.
Some of my favorite parts of this album would have to be their use of isolated instrumental parts. The third song, “Hold Still,” is a perfect example of this. The first note hooks you immediately with a simple yet fast-paced bass riff. The solo is followed by drums which blend nicely with the lead guitar before the first verse starts. This intro is really cool and wouldn’t feel out of place on The Killers’ Hot Fuss.
The second song, “Lonely,” is a great demonstration of their talented lyricism. They say so much with so little. The chorus is simple, yet catchy. “You are so lonely you can barely breathe.” Each verse in the song describes the loneliness of the protagonist with relatable situations we’ve all experienced as we strive to find our own meaning and purpose in life: like putting your shoes on while struggling to love yourself or questioning whether or not your college degree was the right choice.
Picking a favorite song on this album was really hard, but I would have to say that my favorite song on the EP was “The Night.” I think this song sits perfectly in the middle of being well-written lyrically and having a great instrumental solo at the end. Starting out with some fingerpicking, this song separates itself from the others right off the bat. The vocals are powerful throughout the song. The last minute of the song is worth noting as there are faint sounds of a saxophone in the background which I think adds to the track and helps diversify it from the rest.
There is so much to love about this EP. However, when you listen through the first time the songs have a tendency to blend together. But as with a lot of good albums, as you continue to listen through a few more times you can pick up on the special nuances of each song. The Solarists are excellent songwriters both lyrically and musically. As their skills evolve, a little more variety (like including a few more songs like “The Night”) will add depth to their musical style.
All in all The Solarists have set themselves up for great success as a band with their third EP. They have a rich, full-bodied sound and great production which sets them apart from other bands in the scene. I am excited to see how they continue to grow! Make sure to follow The Solarists on Instagram and check out “The Night” below.