Music » Critics' Picks

Apollo Sunshine

Saturday, April 3; the Rocket Bar

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Sunshine is our friend. It warms this little rock we float on. It feeds the plants we munch on. It gives us light so that we don't constantly bump into the larger of those plants. It prevents entropy from draining all the energy of our planet into the void. Sunshine prevents Seasonal Affective Disorder and makes the world bloom and blush anew each spring.

Apollo Sunshine isn't quite that impressive. The splendid pop band probably couldn't light the earth all by its lonesome, but it sure tries its best with its bouncing, ever-so-slightly psychedelic gems. Apollo Sunshine's music is probably powerless against the Second Law of Thermodynamics when it comes to preserving our atmosphere and keeping energy locked onto our planet, but it does just as good a job as real sunlight when it comes to Seasonal Affective Disorder: This music beats it and any other form of depression like a gong, like aural serotonin injected straight into your ear canal. It's a lot of fun.

Check out Apollo Sunshine's debut, Katonah. It pulls off the impressive trick of mining the best elements of pop masters past without seeming boringly retro or pointlessly redundant. "I Was on the Moon" is a standout track with a jet-propelled beat, pinging keyboards, sweet vocal harmonies and woozy guitar solos all pressed into a neat four minutes. The album's themes mix love and nature and energy, like an ancient civilization that worshipped the band's two namesakes. Apollo Sunshine may not beat the real thing, but it's the closest thing to sunshine-in-a-can St. Louis has seen in months.

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