Makeshift Sunshine is the duo Thomas Kraus and Michael Taklender. At the beginning of this year they released their EP Makeshift, which we reviewed and the duo just recently came out with Sunshine. Sunshine continues with the vibe and style that they established on their first release.
These are acoustic-based, melancholy songs that revolve around melodic guitar parts, warm well-sung vocals and a subdued energy. As I mentioned in my first review the overall feel is similar to that of Elliott Smith.
The EP contains five songs with the first one being “Leaving.” It contains dry, live sounding drums, strummed guitar chords and what sounds like a manipulated organ. The vocals carry the song. Subtle elements such as the additional guitar that gets inserted around the one-minute mark make a big difference in emotional direction. The additional guitar adds layers of hope and solace that wouldn't have been present if it wasn't there.
On “Walls” Kraus sings, “I have been building a wall but not if you’re willing to fall.” In my interpretation the wall serves as a metaphor much in the same way that Paul Simon sang about being an island. There is a slight psychedelic Beach Boys-esque surf vibe on “Waves” which worked perfectly fine with the other songs while “Searchin’’’ trades in the acoustic for an electric. I was reminded of Mikal Cronin on this song.
They close with “Water” which is the closest the group gets to sounding like Elliott Smith from everything between the drum sounds to the chord progression. That being said it's still a very well written song that is immediately enjoyable.
All of the five songs are not only well written but sound good in succession together. There isn’t too much to hate on because the music feels honest, pure and just sounds damn good. For a couple of guys who have full-time jobs and families their output of work is mighty impressive. Keep it coming.
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