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Progressive Rock

SoundCloud Music Reviews: Sumilan Music gives more with “World Is Getting Closer” [Progressive Rock Music]

SoundCloud Music Reviews: Sumilan Music gives more with “World Is Getting Closer” [Progressive Rock Music]
SoundCloud Music Reviews: Sumilan Music gives more with "World Is Getting Closer"

SoundCloud Music Reviews: Sumilan Music gives more with "World Is Getting Closer" SoundCloud Music Reviews: Sumilan Music gives more with “World Is Getting Closer”

They say all bands are the sum of their parts, and this remains true when it comes to Sumilan Music. The members of this group have created a sound that is all its own, combining elements of ambiant and improvisational music in a prog-rock, psychedelic trance genre that is dappled with experimentation and tapping into the energy to create something that is unique and evolving. Sumilan has come up with a sound that belongs solely to them. Pop-like vocals thread in and out of an ever-continuing melody that seems to go on forever. Hailing from Athens, Georgia, and together for nearly five years, Sumilan has followed up 2012’s “Natural Selection” with their latest studio release,”En Transit”, a new album full of electric-infused soul and brass.

“En Transit”, the latest album, showcases the exact path of how Sumilan is evolving in their sound. Incidentally, Sumilan sounds like the way Incubus intended to sound, but never quite achieved. (It’s actually quite pleasant and one feels a bit sorry for Incubus for not being Sumilan). The vocals are effortless and blend into a trance like ambiant instrumental background to create something that sounds like it could be fun to dance to or just the perfect music to listen to as you lay back in a hammock and close your eyes, letting the jam band-esque tones of Sumilan dance over your mind as you reach a state of perfect relaxation. That is, after all, the appeal of this unique group that calls Georgia home.

Pronounced Sue-muh-lahn, this band has stuck to their roots while still being committed to emitting free-furling doses of rock solos and instrumental odysseys. The group’s chemistry together bleeds over into their music for tracks and performances that seem effortless in their synergy and intertwined melodies. Sumilan’s live performances have won them even more fans. With a sound that seems like something culled from the Nineties, mixed with the soundtrack to The Matrix, and combined with equal doses of Bob Marley, 311, and Phish, Sumilan is clearly a group that is gelled together, rocking out to their own mellow, laid back beat.

The band’s members include Sam Whitfield on the drums, Harris Culley on the guitar and vocals, Mark Dykes on bass and vocals, JT Toro on guitar, and Alex Stokes on keyboard and vocals. The first track off their album is the hypnotic “World is Getting Closer”. It’s a strong, dreamy start to the 9-song album, released in March 28, 2015. The whole of En Transit is like a day dreamy, psychedelic love letter where the words are progressive rock and the vocals are slightly more edgier than you would have thought. Just when you think you can pin down Sumilan into a category, the next track comes up and turns the whole sound on its head, moving from slow jam to regretful electric tones with seeming ease.

The song starts out already flowing on its own river of funk. Sumilan starts out with a statement about how what they want to communicate can be in the realm of music. “In this song, wanted to be where we understood, all our thoughts,” Sumilan sings. “Wanted to run away, private dreams, having all the things that I want to say to your face, wanted to run away…”. The song is pure melancholy and yet is edged with an upbeat, it’s-all-okay psychedelic, reggae-toned beat that comes through clear and relaxed as day.

“World is getting closer, never too far away,” they sing in the chorus. In that moment, you feel the sense that Sumilan might be feeling: the gentle claustrophobia as the world intrudes further into the personal sphere, with less and less say about the intrusion and no way to block it, always waiting. Deep thoughts inspired by a jam-type band: when was the last time you heard prog rock like that? In the end, the song might be about a toxic ex-girlfriend with the words “in the sun, loving all the time that I have to spend on my own, I got so far away, looking back, I wish I had got out before I did from your claws… I got so far away”.

Oh well. With Sumilan, you see what you want to see, and feel what you want to feel. It’s like a psychedelic Rorschach test. I for one am loving “En Transit” and am looking forward to what sort of ingenue house rock Sumilan comes out with for album three.

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Formed in the classic city of Athens, GA, and together for almost half a decade, Sumilan has evolved into a sound uniquely their own. Showcased in their studio work and illuminated in their live performance, Sumilan blends prog rock, psychedelic trance, ambiance, and improv, all coalesced with infectious pop minded vocals. Apparent in their newest studio album, En Transit, Sumilan delivers a polished and powerful sound rooted in technique and grown with experience.
With a live performance structured on embellished composition, yet played with rawness and attitude, their sound resonates beyond the venue. The symbiotic energy of the live show leaves the audience satisfied, yet thirsting for the next. With eyes into the future, the band is soul driven into an ever evolving sound that meets the challenge of today, while fostering continuity into the sound of tomorrow.

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