AV Super Sunshine releases “Candyland” single
AV Super Sunshine is one of the most enigmatic yet emotionally accessible musical artists working today. His growing discography testifies to how modern musicians can incorporate time-tested sounds with a modern approach to create gripping performances embodying the best of both approaches. His latest single “Candyland” follows a customary path for Sunshine in, at least, one critical respect – he has released the song in two distinct mixes, rock and radio tailored versions respectively, in hopes it gives listeners a level of listening flexibility few of his contemporaries and peers dare attempt. It has the concomitant effect of illustrating the strength of his material. Only the finest songs can be recast and reinterpreted in such a way and this is a hallmark of everything the Wisconsin based AV Super Sunshine does.
Andrew Higley’s B3 playing opens the song’s radio mix playing one of the song’s most distinctive musical phrases. It recurs throughout the track with an assortment of other creative variations, but the full band soon comes in and the song takes off with a rush of energy. It has an energetic tempo that never gets carried away with itself but the contrast between the verses and bridges opposed to the chorus is notable – there’s a light bounce present in the former while the chorus darkens proceedings. Ir reflects the skewed reality of the song’s situation without ever straining for effect.
Producer Michael Bradford plays acoustic guitar throughout the track and it offers listeners a glimpse of the track’s likely origins. Sunshine’s lead vocal is joined by some supporting backing vocals from Kim Mont, James House, and Kim Flemming, but the charisma and slight theatricality Sunshine brings to his singing constitutes the heart of the song’s experience. This version of the track is the radio mix with good reason; it plays like a track ready to go for a broad-based audience.
The rock mix of the track include Brad Pemberton’s punchy drumming and tasteful yet rough hewn electric guitars from Sunshine and House joining the fray. Higley’s B3 is still present in the mix but isn’t nearly as prominent in this version as the radio mix. The contrast between the verses and bridge against the chorus is less pronounced in this setting than the radio mix, but the chorus gains added intensity in a rock vein. Bradford’s bass playing gives it a weighty pulse throughout the track.
It is shorter than the radio mix as well. This makes for a more concise listening experience, but the radio version never threatens to try your patience. The rock mix, instead, feels a little more economical, foregoing the lighter touch of the radio version in favor of a muscular rock pose that will find favor with fans of the form. Sunshine’s vocals are, as well, more forceful than before, but he is far too canny of a singer to ever lapse into histrionics and gives a rather artful turn this rock vocal. AV Super Sunshine’s “Candyland” is a memorable single from a performer who continues pushing his work to new heights with each new release.