Studio 52 is a community artist space located in the heart of Allston, and is proud to support the Boston music scene and local artist community.
For all the complaints about how we all discover and digest music in 2017, there is one aspect that’s pretty fucking underrated: You literally have no idea when or how you might stumble upon something new and fantastic. I bring this up because on Friday, I was driving down Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, near the Paradise, listening to 98.5 The Sports Hub, with music the last thing on my mind (for once). But then, for some reason, the Zolak & Bertrand show took a quick break from yelling about the Patriots to play a new song by a Boston band called Phenomenal Sun.
Turns out Phenomenal Sun frontman Adam Luciano is promotions coordinator for The Sports Hub’s sister station WZLX, and the tune made the rounds in the halls over in Brighton and eventually landed on air at 98.5.
Roughly an hour later, drummer Kyle Rasmussen coincidentally sent the track over to Vanyaland, and my immediate reaction back to him was: “Holy shit I just heard this on the radio.” Not rock radio, mind you, but sports talk radio.
Talk about a plug. Hell, even Zolak liked it.
While we’re not sure if this will end up replacing “Your Love” at Gillette any time soon, it has gotten plenty of love over here at Vanyaland. Phenomenal Sun’s new song is called “Gone and Alone,” and touches on all the preferred aspects of ’90s alt-rock: gritty guitarwork, detached vocals, and a sludgy musical coating around an infectiously pop-minded core; the type of song you’d have bought the CD single of 20 years ago. But it’s no retro act: The group was formed by Luciano and Rasmussen around this time back in 2015, and have since enlisted guitarist Tim Brown (Found Audio) and bassist Kevin Boldwin (Cask Mouse) to round out their lineup. They are set to make their live debut sometime next year, and will release a series of singles along the way.
As for “Gone and Alone,” which you can hear below via Bandcamp, lyrically the song embraces a feeling of isolation and longing, something universal in any time period. “[It’s] a sort of flashback to my experience living in NYC while in college,” Luciano tells Vanyaland. “At the time my mental state was pretty chaotic and I think that created a breeding ground for bizarre encounters… staying out all night and essentially embracing the life of a social outsider. I love New York and all the incredible experiences and relationships it has to offer, but at the time I just felt like a stranger in my own skin.”
Kinda like a rock song premiering on a sports talk radio station.
Featured Phenomenal Sun photo courtesy of the band.