Release The Sunbird

When Rogue Wave's Zach Rogue boarded a plane for Bloomington, Indiana in the summer of 2010, he wasn’t even sure he should be going. Following years on the road with his band, Rogue Wave, Rogue was itching to do something different, but wasn’t sure what. On a whim, he booked time at a studio called Russian Recording, run by his friend Mike Bridavsky in Bloomington, and bought himself a plane ticket. Bringing a couple acoustic guitars with him, as well as the fragments of a few not-anywhere-near-finished songs, Rogue knew he was moving forward without any real sense of what he was moving forward towards. 

The result of these sessions turned out to be some of the most remarkable music Rogue has made to date. He titled the project Release The Sunbird, and released his first album under that moniker entitled Come Back to Us on Brushfire Records on July 26th, 2011. 

Release The Sunbird is a side project, but it's not. Release The Sunbird is a solo project, but it's not. Slapping a label on it to make it easy to categorize is tempting, but is ultimately doing a disservice to the incredible record Rogue has made. Come Back to Us is glowing from the inside out, the edges of the songs blurring in hazy focus, lifted by beautiful harmonies, meditative phrase repetition and lilting melodies. These songs are not the sort of cast-off melancholia or ambient electronic experiments in which other artists indulge when they’ve escaped from their band for a moment. Come Back to Us is sun-kissed, joyful and simply one of the most lovely albums you will hear this year.