Like the surf culture they so adore, indie-rock collective Sunset Sons are exciting, carefree and adrenaline-inducing. Despite members hailing from the UK and Australia, they formed in 2013 in the surf capitol of Europe, Hossegor in the south of France. Members Rory Williams (vocals, keys), Pete Harper (bass), Jed Laidlaw (drums) and Robin Windram (guitar from 2013-18) met through the sport and bonded over more than just waves. They started a cover band together named The Cheerleaders and toured every ski resort in the French Alps during the winter seasons. Quickly rising in popularity amongst young snowboarders as they sometimes played up to three shows a day, they became renowned for their hectic live shows and unusual choices of songs, ranging from Queens of the Stone Age to Kanye West. This great reception spurred them to write original melodic bangers that match their energetic performances and lovable demeanor.
They released their debut album Le Surfing in February 2014, which was named after the bar where they first met. This self-released breakthrough found them at number 6 in the iTunes Rock Charts and signed to three labels worldwide: Polydor, Kobalt and Vagrant Records. Their following two releases No Bad Days (which came out just eight months later after these deals had been signed) and The Fall Line (2015) both reached number 1 in the iTunes Rock Chart upon release.
2015 in particular was a strong year for Sunset Sons as they were nominated for multiple awards, including BBC’s Sound of 2015 and MTV’s Brand New 2015, as well coming first in XFM’s Great X-Pectations for 2015. Their debut album Very Rarely Say Die (2016) was highly acclaimed by the likes of GIGsoup and Louder Than War, and helped them hit the mainstream as the latter stated “Taking twelve songs and trying to pick half a dozen to shortlist for airplay might be a challenge.” Their sultry, electronic track ‘Watch Your Back’ (taken from the deluxe version) also featured on the Netflix thriller series Bloodline, which further sprung their quirky sound into the mainstream.
On 27th July last year, they released their fifth EP The River, which was their first as a three piece after Windram parted ways with his band mates due to family commitments. Despite the saddening news and lack of guitar, the three-piece continued to produce high-quality alternative indie ballads with more than enough bass, keys and passion to compensate for the absence of Windram’s funky riffs.
This May, they released a brand new single ‘Problems’. Laden with clunky glock melodies that sound as though they’re being played on sea shells, Williams’ mellow yet emotive vocals are layered over staccatoed beats that show a darker side to Sunset Sons. Taken from their upcoming second album, this is only a small taste of what’s yet to come from them this year.
The pages of the Anglo-Aussies’ previous tour diaries must have been practically bursting at the seams as they supported Imagine Dragons on all 37 dates of their 2015 European tour, and have played many festivals across the UK including Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, T in the Park and Boardmasters. They’ve really kept their British audience wanting more though as they made sure their very first UK tour only consisting of small surf towns and refused to play major cities. Since then, many of their following UK shows have sold out completely, and their upcoming shows this June are expected to follow suit.introducing / sunset sons