“Today” follows in Sunflower Station’s campaign of sunny output amid the din of a global malady. It’s not so much an invitation to look the other way but a dare to plow through the here-and-now with a smiley-face defiance.
I never imagined we’d take on creativity-as-therapy as a culture, even as a race, let alone as a species. But it’s become one of those things. And though it’s tiring to keep framing people’s output this way, the tragedy is that coping is everyone’s new default reality. The overwhelming synchronicity of perspectives—I mean, look, pretty much every artist I’ve spoken in the past year has alluded to their new work as a form of protest against the catatonia of pandemic life—confirms this.
A similar defiance permeates Sunflower Station’s new single “Today,” which drummer Neil Yap wrote not just about the virus but also while nursing it. “It’s about hope in times of trouble, [and] also being optimistic about the present moment of being alive,” the band says in earnest. The track is sparkly indie-pop done in the vein of Boy Pablo, Men I Trust, and labelmates The Camerawalls, and it will have you bobbing your head for days.
Beyond the hallmarks of the genre—the tasty arpeggios, the saccharine boy-girl harmonies, the foot-shaking pulse—what’s in great abundance in “Today” is, easily, sincerity. And please tell me you agree we need more of it, especially in an era of ironic hipsters, wordsmithing wannabes, and dour-faced naysayers.
In the new track, we see a creative unit brimming with singularity of purpose and a familiar shorthand: something they’ve surely developed in their previous incarnation—singer-guitarist Jany Ligutan, guitarist Don Davis Pido, bassist Jay Fernandez, and aforementioned drummer Neil Yap all belonged to the same erstwhile outfit—but also something they’re actively challenging and retooling with their newest collaborator, singer-keyboardist Sam Carlos.
“We are forging a new direction for our band as we utilize the dynamics of [having] two vocalists. We hope to create more music that is fresh, new, and forward-looking,” the band shares in a statement.
The almost-uneasy earnestness of “Today”—”Today, I won’t let myself feel down / I get by one day at a time / I said I’m done but I’m still here today / I feel so much better now”—isn’t a reinvention of the wheel by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s probably what you and I need now.