2019 has been taking Canadian rock artists in a lot of different directions, and in Relic Kings’ new single and lyric video “Blinded by the Sun,” audiences are welcomed into one of the more endearing sounds of the summer season thus far. “Blinded by the Sun” is a guitar-driven venture that incorporates a richly textured vocal into its larger than life harmonies, and though the rhythm of the track produces less urgency than I would have hoped to hear from a band as capable as this one is, this is a catchy, anti-establishment alternative rock song with a whole lot of heart where it counts the most.
The production quality here is incredibly slick, but that doesn’t prevent the strings from sounding very organic and even vulnerable in tone. The melodies that they conjure up alongside the brittle bassline are quite rousing, but never as captivating as the lyrical lashings that we find dispatched with ease from behind the microphone. This is definitely the most radio-ready song on Relic Kings’ debut album (also titled Blinded by the Sun), but listeners can trust that every track found on the record follows a similar, though genuinely unique, formula to what we hear in this single.
I get the impression that “Blinded by the Sun” was written mostly for live performances, where its flexible construction could be exploited for every drop of cerebral texture that it’s worth. There’s a lot of space in this composition for extended solos, experimental breakdowns and instrumental quests that will lead us off of the beaten path, and despite the fact that Relic Kings don’t explore these avenues in this instance, it’s made more than obvious that they’re there just the same. The lyric video’s wild, and at times mind-binding, imagery adds to the sense of adventure enormously, and though it’s not as engaging as a standard music video would have been, it’s absolutely more aesthetically pleasing than I had initially anticipated.
These guitar parts try to steal the show on a number of occasions, but when all is said and done, “Blinded by the Sun” is best described as a vocal showcase for Relic Kings’ frontman. Everything here, and I mean everything, is built on the back of the lyrical arrangement that is so artfully delivered to us line by line, and were you to take away the calculated crooning that holds everything together in this single, I don’t think that it would be quite as exciting a listening experience at all.
This was my first time hearing Relic Kings, but after getting hooked on the simple strut of “Blinded by the Sun,” I can promise you that it definitely won’t be the last. There has been an endless stream of talent emerging from the Canadian underground this year, and I would be lying if I didn’t say that it’s been hard to keep up with all of the skilled performers making headlines this season, but this is a single that really stands out in a crowd. I think that this may well be the start of a thrilling career for this threesome, but all the same, I encourage you to check out the song and lyric video to see what you think for yourself.