Trophy Eyes have made a triumphant return with their fourth studio album, Suicide and Sunshine, due to be released on the 23rd of June. As the title suggests, the album revolves around contrast, presenting songs of beauty and tragedy through the heartfelt words and talent of front man John Floreani.
Produced by Shane Edwards, Suicide and Sunshine is adorned with anthemic hooks and infused with elements of dark modern pop. Co-producer Fletcher Matthews adds captivating electronic flourishes, while atmospheric and swirling synths come to life on certain tracks. Floreani’s heartfelt vocals are accompanied by the unwavering rhythms of drummer Blake Caruso, the resolute bass of Jeremy Winchester, and the commanding guitars skilfully handled by Floreani and former guitarist Andrew Hallett.
Kicking off the album is the electrifying “Sydney”- a a brief yet powerful 59-second track brimming with energy, serving as Floreani’s heartfelt tribute to his beloved hometown. The song also pays subtle homage to the band’s earlier piece, “Miracle,” with a similar arrangement introduced midway. Following this dynamic start, “Life in Slow Motion” carries on the energetic momentum, offering an introspective examination of life and our human journey on Earth.
Among the standout tracks, “People Like You” shines with exceptional brilliance. The band delivers a powerhouse performance, incorporating tasteful screams and a contagious high-energy atmosphere. Addressing social class, it delves into Floreani’s challenging upbringing. The chorus is irresistibly catchy, enhanced by striking gang vocals and poignant lyrics.
“My Inheritance” unveils a profoundly touching narrative from Floreani’s childhood, highlighting the enduring impact of his father. This emotional track manages to maintain an infectious energy, showcasing the band’s ability to infuse even the most profound subjects with vibrant musicality.
The single “Blue Eyed Boy” continues the album’s trend of relatable and deeply reflective lyrics, focusing on a disappointing reunion with a childhood friend. The track seamlessly blends infectious energy with its heavier undertones, demonstrating the band’s skill in crafting songs that tackle difficult topics while remaining musically uplifting.
“Runaway Come Home” captivates with stripped-down instrumentals and crisp vocals, building up to an exuberant and energetic instrumental climax. This pattern of alternating between moments of vulnerability and intensity characterises the track, culminating in a beautiful acapella outro. The haunting interlude “Burden” adds a brief yet captivating pause before the album takes a darker turn.
The sorrowful and deeply personal track “Sean” marks a poignant shift in the album’s pace, recounting the tragic loss of Floreani’s close friend to suicide. The song purposefully evokes feelings of confusion and disorientation, providing listeners with a glimpse into the mindset of someone experiencing such a devastating event.
With the catchy single “That’s What Hurts The Most” and the rock-infused “OMW,” the album regains its vibrant energy. The former carries a grungy guitar sound and heavy drums, while the latter emerges as a personal favourite with its infectious melody. The well-received single “Kill” seamlessly fits into the album’s dynamic flow.
“Sweet Soft Sound” offers a respite from the heaviness, presenting a simple and lovely love song that adds a touch of tenderness to the album’s subject matter. This is followed by “Stay Here”, which delves deep into introspection, encapsulating the singer’s internal dialogue as he battles to stay alive day after day. The track’s mid-tempo groove and heavy chorus perfectly embody the album’s title, further highlighting its themes of resilience and hope amidst adversity.
During the pandemic, Trophy Eyes almost called it quits. In recent interviews, they have revealed that the desire to create this album came from wanting to go out with a bang. They also said that they wanted to end with a thank you to their fans- this thank you is the closing track, “Epilogue”. This is an emotional listen for fans of Trophy Eyes, especially those who have been following the group for years. Thankfully, the process of writing and recording Suicide and Sunshine breathed new life into the band and reminded them of how much they love what they do.
With every track, Trophy Eyes effortlessly display their remarkable artistic growth, unwavering dedication, and fearless exploration of profound themes, all wrapped in a vibrant and captivating musical approach. Suicide and Sunshine serves as a testament to their unwavering resilience and is a release to get excited for. Get ready to embark on a musical journey that encapsulates the essence of Trophy Eyes’ evolution and leaves you craving for more.