Sunbathers - Honeysuk
Wow! That’s the very first thing I said when I started listening to the latest single from the Sunbathers entitled ‘Honeysuk‘. Actually, that’s a lie. The very first thing I said was “holy fuck!” The vocal prowess of lead singer Sean Lynott alone was enough to floor me, not to mention the backing vocals of Pete Mindnich. And the wonderful ability of the band to really create a build that makes the listener gush with joy everytime the summit is reached is spectacular.
I’m not usually one to get so intensely caught up in a specific song or album. Spending the amount of time I do listening to and reviewing music makes it fairly difficult to elicit such an emotional response from me, but I have to say that the Sunbathers have hit on something that gets me in several ways.
There is a wonderfully groovy funk to this tune thanks to the guitar riffs and bass licks of Tim Boaté and Peter Leonard, as well as the awesome off-kilter beats of drummer Shohsei Oda, but that doesn’t stop it from being incredibly engaging emotionally with beautiful harmonies and sweet keys to bolster the emotional swells. It’s also more in-depth than you might think at first listen. It sounds like a sweet love song, but if you watch the supplementary music video you follow a quirky and beautiful story of obsession, addiction, excess and escape.
It’s not often that I don’t have some sort of constructive criticism for a review, but I must say that the hills and valleys that this song takes the listener on a trip over and through is just right. The eccentricities of the band are roped in by the emotional capturing of this track’s content. If I was forced to make any remark, it would be that I didn’t get enough. I mean, I got just enough in this track, but I certainly need to hear more.
And for those of you who join me in that opinion, please do check out their remixed version of ‘Intimacy‘ that they cut at the outset of the year with Belgian “melodic house act” Curtis Alto.
Sunbathers new single and video “Honeysuk”
Baltimore based indie rock band Sunbathers have a well-deserved spot between Band of Horses, Simple Minds and Tears for Fears in my opinion. Classic and soulful pop induced rock n’ roll with numerous of highlights, but two are blatantly clear. Firstly, the songwriting is elevated and more complex from what you may normally find with an indie band. Secondly, the vocal work of Sean Lynott is undeniably timeless and broad.
Add those two points to the fact that the band, Tim Boaté, Pete Mindnich, Peter Leonard, and Shohsei Oda are brilliant musicians. Witness the rhythm section causing involuntary pelvic sways on the band’s new single “Honeysuk”. To say this song is a track that belongs in arenas wouldn’t be saying enough.
Since songs take on the listener’s own interpretations, and “Honeysuk” has changed my mind at least four times. Which is a fantastic situation for any melophile to be in. To further my intrigue, and soon yours is the Jorge Lucas video.
A high concept masterwork? Perhaps, but what is saying about the track? Here is my most recent perception of “Honeysuk”. Nurturing a love until it eventually becomes a virus that slowly entraps you and ultimately leads to an emotional demise.
Whichever way your mind decides to dissect and experience this song it will possibly vary from mine. So be it, it’s certainly worth all journies taken
Light, danceable track from D.C./Baltimore group runs deeper than you think. But don't let that stop you from shaking it.
When song and band unite to excite our basic enthusiasm, it’s a great thing. Witness this new track from Sunbathers, “Honeysuk”. The infectious, new heights-reaching track lasts a mere four minutes but remains with us for much longer. It functions as both a dance floor anthem and a piece worthy of meditating on via its exploration of all things sexy. The accompanying video compliments the track’s subtle funkiness as well as its light sense of humor and appreciation of the carnal.
The Washington, D.C./Baltimore-based outfit’s vocalist/synth player Sean Lynott offers this about “Honeysuk”: “It became one of our favorite songs to play out this past year, and we’re excited to share it now beyond our live show,” he says. “We like to think it has a particular energy and that we’ve accurately captured that in the studio. It’s a song with a most joyous exterior with glimmers of desperation.” For the video, the band worked with D.I.Y. or Die Productions and Lynott is quick to sing the company’s praises. “We are very pleased with how the visual compliments the spirit of the song. We’re looking forward to seeing how people interpret and react to it.”
As if the name were no prior indication, Baltimore/Washington, D.C. indie rock outfit Sunbathers – comprised of Sean Lynott, Tim Boaté, Pete Mindnich, Peter Leonard, and Shohsei Oda – creates music that makes you feel soaked in warmth and sunshine. With light, raspy vocals (And those full heads of luxurious hair!), the men of Sunbathers croon about a romantic interest, someone who everyone kind of wants a bite of. Lyrics like “you’re so appealing floating toward the ceiling everyone here wants your love / I get this feeling it might be the reason that I’m crazy for your touch” are incredibly brazen, admitting that there might be more in the chase for them if others are also after the same end goal. To this end, you might see the track as a bit shallow, but if you dig deeper it is about confidence and emitting an energy that attracts people toward you as well.
The quintet goes even deeper into the honeysuckle metaphor in the video, with sharp, detailed visuals of the band playing the track, floral arrangements, and a human woman growing out of a pot like a plant. The visual is emotionally intense – especially toward the end – and is, in our humble opinion, some of the best artistic work they could have done with the track. But don’t just trust us, check it out for yourself.
Sunbathers Release Video for "Honeysuk"
Washington, D.C./ Baltimore-based quintet, Sunbathers, recently shared their new video for the single “Honeysuk”. The track is comes after the recent release of their self-titled EP.
Sean Lynott on the song:
“These lyrics came through about two years ago, for a song that felt very different from what “Honeysuk” eventually became. I was hooked on a song called “Heart Don’t Know” by Jimmy Whispers, and wrote down “heart sinking low”—this was the rooting line from which the rest of the lyrics stemmed rather quickly. This song captures the feeling of a long night fueled by loneliness, using the second-person perspective to watch and consider another. It grapples with the desperation for contact, touch, love and how wanting those things so badly can turn selfish in an instant.
The music is lighthearted and buoyant while the lyrics pry into some darker spots, and the video by our friends at D.I.Y. or Die does an excellent job oscillating between the light and dark embedded into the song. I think the visuals speak for themselves and act as an ideal companion to the song. The title of the song was a placeholder initially, coming from the mention of the honeysuckle flower in first verse of the song. However, as we started playing the song live and calling the song “Honeysuk”, it started to stick and fit. The flower itself carries a rather sensual symbolism—fragrant, full of a sweet nectar, and drank up straight from the vine. The line in the song serves to mimic the nature of the honeysuckle flower, how we pluck it from the vine and take and take as it gives and gives, getting nothing in return.”
Huffington Post Premiere: http://bit.ly/2wo4tl6
Presented here is “Honeysuk,” Washington D.C./Baltimore’s Sunbathers’ new release. FYI, the band’s most recent track, a remix of their song “Intimacy” by Belgian melodic house act Curtis Alto, has received over 1 million views since its release in February.
According to Sunbathers’ vocalist and synth player Sean Lynott...
“We’ve gone a long stretch since our last release, but we’re excited to break the silence with ‘Honeysuk.’ The song has become a staple of our live show―an ecstatic moment during the set where the energy between band and audience hits its peak. With the help of Donny Ingram at Dreamcatcher Studio, we feel like we’ve done a great job of capturing the song’s energy in the studio and are excited to have it on wax.
“We regrouped with Jorge Lucas and D.I.Y or DIE Productions—the team behind our ‘Intimacy” video—who did a remarkable job of portraying the intertwined, albeit subtle disparity of the song. We think they’ve created a striking visual, and more importantly, a piece that speaks to the true nature of the song. We’re looking forward to seeing how people interpret and react to the video.”
The video’s director, Jorge Lucas, adds...
“Following the release of Sunbathers’ music video for ‘Intimacy,’ we felt emboldened to take the next video in a radical direction. Unlike ‘Intimacy,’ we knew we wanted ‘Honeysuk’ to be less narrative-based, shot in a controlled location, and to feature the band prominently. We first established a visual aesthetic and color palette that suited the song. During a hike one day, not long before the start of filming, the song inspired me to write a story about a man who grew a woman out of soil. This snow-balled into a Pygmalion-like fairytale with a violent conclusion. Thankfully, the band liked my unexpected twist on the lyrics, as I had done on ‘Intimacy’. So we forged ahead to tackle toxic and abusive relationships in a story that empowers women to be the masters of their own fate. We filmed the bulk of the video in 13 long hours one day in May in a Brooklyn studio. Throw in some great visual effects from our friends at Third Beacon Studios, and we have a music video we’re extremely proud to show the world!”
The Chainsmokers play "Intimacy" remix on their Sirius XM show as one of top 15 EDM songs of the week
The Chainsmokers are mixing it up week after week bringing you the top EDM tracks on YouTube. Tune to BPM(Ch.51) Fridays at 8 pm ET to hear the hottest hits.
This week on the EDM 15 we’ve got The Chainsmokers’ Paris (Ben Maxwell & SCRVP Remix), Kygo & Selena Gomez’s It Aint Me, Odd Mob’s Lithium and plenty more!
Make sure to check out the rest of this week’s EDM 15 listed below:
The Chainsmokers – Paris (Ben Maxwell & SCRVP Remix)
Valence – Infinite
Kygo & Selena Gomez – It Aint Me
Odd Mob – Lithium
A R I Z O N A – Oceans Away (Vicetone Remix)
JRND & VMK – Make Dem (feat. Kedo Rebelle)
PLS&TY – Good Vibes (feat. Cosmos & Creature)
Chocolate Puma x Pep & Rash – The Stars Are Mine
Blackbear – Weak When Ur Around (P Buddy Remix)
Steve Aoki & Louis Tomlinson – Just Hold On
Curtis Alto vs Sunbathers – Intimacy
Stalgia – BDY (Joe Mason Remix)
Omar Varela – Last One
Domastic – Weird Dream
TobiMorrow & Henri Lueck – Blind Beauty
The Baltimore Sun - 1/22/17
By Wesley Case
Baltimore Sun - Contact Reporter
Listening to a song from the Baltimore-Washington indie-rock quintet Sunbathers, singer Sean Lynott’s falsetto sounds effortless. The Catonsville native credits it to a childhood obsession he latched onto early. Maybe too early.
“You know, the biggest influence on me was Usher,” Lynott said inside a Mount Vernon cafe last week. “I mimicked him, walking around my house singing Usher songs that were far too inappropriate for an 8-year-old. I just learned to sing through that style.”
To be clear, Sunbathers — who headline Metro Gallery on Friday — won’t get confused for an R&B group, but Lynott’s love of the genre speaks to the band’s open-minded approach to indie-rock, a sound that continues to grow more amorphous. On their self-titled EP from 2015, Sunbathers find a polished balance between songs driven by soaring guitars and more experimental tracks utilizing synthesizers and electronic production techniques.
Now they’re ready to further mine the latter style’s possibilities.
“We definitely made a concerted shift to bring those things into our music because I think we’re all interested in it,” said Lynott, 26. “With the EP, we just didn’t know how to do it. Now that we’re exploring it, it just opens up a whole new world of sounds and ideas.”
They’ve made progress in a relatively short period of time. As seniors and roommates at the University of Maryland, College Park, Lynott and guitarist Tim Boaté began playing music together as an acoustic duo (“a little bit of covers, a little bit of our own stuff,” according to Lynott).
Based on their formative music tastes, there was no guarantee it would work. Lynott “grew up on Warped Tour-style pop-punk,” while West Chester, Pa., native Boaté grew up on Phish and the Grateful Dead, thanks to his older siblings.
Writing together, though, eventually led to common ground.
“That’s where we collide: Phoenix, My Morning Jacket, Radiohead,” said the 26-year-old Boaté, seated next to Lynott.
After graduation, they moved to Washington’s H Street neighborhood with one goal: Start a serious band. They eventually recruited guitarist-backup singer Pete Mindnich, drummer Shohsei Oda and bassist Peter Leonard. (Lynott and Boaté live in Baltimore, while Mindnich and Oda live in Washington. Leonard is in Chevy Chase, and the group practices in the Catonsville basement of Lynott’s parents’ house.)
In November 2015, the band released their debut five-track EP, which Boaté describes as “a culmination of our first two years as a band.” Recorded at Dreamcatcher Studio in Baltimore with producer Donny Ingram, songs like “Intimacy” and “Glory” sound festival-ready — propulsive, danceable and catchy enough to find an audience that grew up listening to a little bit of everything.
“Intimacy,” Lynott’s favorite song, offers a clue to Sunbathers’ path forward: a seamless mixture of memorable guitar riffs, subtle synthesizers, a nimble rhythm section and the singer’s simpatico vocals.
“People seemed to really latch on to that one,” said Boaté, who lives in Canton. “We really like that sound, so we might as well keep going. It’s working.”
Thematically, Sunbathers’ songs “can be boiled down to love songs,” but Lynott said he tries to inject nuance with moments of desperation and the other complicated feelings that come with relationships. The former English major often finds inspiration in poetry and novels, citing Saeed Jones’ “Prelude to Bruise” and Nayyirah Waheed’s “Salt” as recent favorites.
“I find a lot from poets — just the way they break phrases apart and the way certain words carry different meanings in different contexts,” the Mount Vernon resident said.
The group has found a high-profile fan in WTMD, Towson University’s public radio station, as evidenced by the station’s regular playing of “Glory.” The station invited the band to play its Baltimore Band Block Party last May, which led to a slot at WTMD’s popular free concert series First Thursdays in Canton the following month.
The performance “marked a next step for us,” Boaté said.
“I remember playing our second-to-last song, and I just took a moment to take it all in, like, ‘Look at all these people,’” Lynott said. “It was nothing short of surreal.”
They’re going to keep pursuing those moments, with hopes of soon expanding their touring schedule to include New York and Virginia. (Sunbathers have mostly stuck to Baltimore, D.C., and Philadelphia so far.)
The Metro Gallery show will be their last in the area for a few months. They plan to take the time to finish writing and recording new material, which will either end up on a second EP or a full-length album.
The band has achieved a fair amount in just over three years, and Lynott says the plan to “see how far we can take it.”
“We’ve been fortunate enough to have very positive experiences as a band,” Lynott said. “I don’t see any reason to stop.”
JANUARY 18, 2017
I chatted with The Sunbathers about their involvement in the local music scene, and their new music video “Intimacy.”
Q: How did the band form?
Tim and Sean met while attending the University of Maryland and have been playing music together for years, but it wasn’t until we moved into D.C. with our other guitarist Pete that we got serious about forming a band. Tim was fatefully seated next to Shohsei, our drummer, at a work event shortly after our D.C. move, and from there things really took off. We soon added a mutual friend on bass to fill out the group, started playing some house shows and bar gigs in the DC/Baltimore area, and have been at it ever since.
Q: What is the hardest part about being in a band?
Maintaining deference. Any group of people will have its dynamics and natural roles, but its important to let everyone have a fair share at every aspect–be it songwriting or the business side of things. We always look to respect one another as much as possible because, like any relationship, ego has to be checked at the door in order to get to the heart of things.
Q: What was it like playing at WTMD’s First Thursdays this past June?
Truly a dream come true. We’ve been attending First Thursdays for years now, from when it was in Mount Vernon to when it outgrew that area and scaled up in Canton. Its an incredible event and was an unparalleled moment of both exposure and thrill for us. The opportunity to play for such a massive crowd in such a gorgeous setting was amazing and we can’t thank WTMD enough for that chance.
Q: What is your favorite part of performing live?
The thrill, simply put. There is nothing more exhilarating but also nothing more nerve-wracking. It requires you to put forth unequivocal concentration while, at the same time, let loose and exist within the moment.
Q: I love your song “Intimacy.” What is it about?
Intimacy is largely a narration of a relationship. The beginnings and ends, the ups and downs, the elation and the desperation. It reflects on the quieter, more private moments of intimacy with another person as well as the wilder moments of both passion and heartache where you’re bursting at the seams with love and despair, maybe even at the same time. I wanted to recount a history of two people but also zoom in on the presence of mind within those smaller moments sitting in between those greats highs and lows. It ends on a climax as well, and I go back and forth between considering that moment as optimistic or not so much–I guess it depends on the day and I think it makes the most sense for the song to remain unbound by one single interpretation.
Q: What was it like filming the music video? Where did you film it?
The music video was more of an independent project with a friend of Sean’s. We worked with him in developing a concept and, once that was established, we let him take the reins and execute the project. We could not have been happier with the result as we love his interpretation of the lyrics and his talent for narration and and direction is very evident.
Q: What is your favorite part of being a part of the Baltimore/DC music scene?
Both cities have music scenes deeply invested in lifting up local and independent bands. Venues are willing to give bands a shot and people actually come out to shows. Both cities have established themselves as havens for national acts but it incubates its own artists and gives them ample opportunity to develop their sound and their art in spaces that are worthy of the the largest acts but simultaneously inclusive of their own local bands. Also, the DIY spirit running through both cities is so unique to each place but also so equally well-established and maintained.
Q: Are you guys excited about your show at 8×10?
Super excited. The 8×10 is very kind to us and has great hospitality and sound engineers, and we always have a great time there. This particular bill is all local Baltimore bands and some good friends, so it’ll be a great night.