Album Review: sunbleached – Delicate Places We Hide (2023 EP)

Brisbane emo quartet sunbleached have returned with their sophomore EP Delicate Places We Hide, out today. The band released singles “Spinning Around” and “Toyfriend” last year with accompanying videos before teasing the new EP with “Heavy Turn” in February.

After cutting their teeth in the live circuit this past year, the band have supported the likes of Deadlights, Mirrors, Void of Vision, Holding Absence, Movements and Boston Manor. The four-track project was produced by long-time collaborator Tristan Higginson (Waxflower) and mastered by Grant Berry (All Time Low, Stand Atlantic, Being as an Ocean) to create a short but strong offering with their signature shoegaze sound.

Grungy opener “Spinning Around” boasts wailing guitars and upbeat grooves with catchy, dynamic hooks. Sporadic screams cut through ethereal melodies as halftime breaks make you shift from dancing to moshing. “Toyfriend” allows room to breathe with picked melodies and cleaner vocals while the octave chorus and manic drums offer an emotional release in the instrumental bridge. The dejected lyrics hit hard in the feels and the cut-short turnarounds create a sense of urgency.

Another demonstration of subtle intricacy, “Heavy Turn” gives off big Basement vibes with an aching honesty. The shimmering guitar solo and layered riffs help build this song to the point of anxiety before a fizzling finale. Chaotic closer “Closer” (as in Nine Inch Nails) uses buzzing guitars, busy drums and harsh vocals to immerse the listener in a haze of desperation. The raw passion in frontman Josh Baker’s vocals on this track propels it even further and ends the project on a high.

Delicate Places We Hide showcases a band that has owned their sound and are ready to bring it to any stage with a unique fervour. If you aren’t familiar with sunbleached by now, you’d better get onboard before they start popping up on festival bills.

Follow sunbleached on Facebook and Instagram for more.