We were always pretty sweet on Boston rock band Phenomenal Sun, whose sound threw it back to the mid-’90s salad days of alternative, where life seemed simpler and rife with excitement and anticipation. But origin stories are not always so pleasant and carefree, and that same era that we look back upon now with nostalgic wonder are also fraught with personal tales of struggle and depression.
They represent a chapter, and an important one, in the tale of Adi Sun, the Boston musician who reaches back to that time for both inspiration and indoctrination, and today releases her first solo single in “Bella Sun Lever.” It’s a fidgety guitar-rock number that steps into more unbalanced waters than Sun’s previous band, and there’s a few layers of by-design interpretation to that line of creativity.
“This marks the beginning of a new chapter in my life,” Sun tells Vanyaland. “A lot of my friends and family members were worried I’d never make it out of my 20’s alive. I am so grateful that things turned around and that I still have music to share. All of my triumphs and failures have brought me to this point.
With “Bella Sun Lever”, Adi Sun draws inspiration from the re-introduction of a former flame who kicks up memories and emotions, but doesn’t allow for the things that need to be said to be finally said, and how personal demons can cloud not only the soul but the communication we have with others who pick the locks of our hearts. The track rises and falls, swirling forward with a constant buzz, weighted by Sun’s weathered howl, that again draws back to the ’90s. And that’s by design, as usual.
“When I was 12 years old I would listen to Nirvana and think ‘wow these guys have experience, they’ve been through a lot of shit’. It made me dream of a day when I would have enough experience to create something impactful,” she adds. “Now I’m 36, a recovering alcoholic, recently ‘out’ as transgender, healing from yet another heartbreak, chronic pain, loved ones passing …and I’m the same hopeless romantic I always was. I can’t help but think I may have taken that childhood dream a little too far [laughs]. But in the end I’ve learned that there are only so many stories to be told. It seems appropriate that I’d start off my solo career with a good old-fashioned love song.”
Times change, perspectives change, and we, as people, change. But there are constants in the sea of life, and it’s usually up to us how we want to ride today’s wave before it brings us back to the shores of reality.
“It’s amazing how much better we learn from painful experiences than joyful ones,” says Sun. “This time around the love and heartbreak changed my perspective on just about everything in life. Most of all it taught me to recognize my value but also the pitfalls of emotional co-dependence. I burned too bright like Icarus. But I needed that experience in order to grow. I take responsibility for my actions. I’ll do things differently next time.”
ADI SUN + DAISYBONES + LAURA LAURA + KILLIAN WHALL :: Friday, August 7 online at ONCE Virtual Venue :: ONCE VV YouTube channel