Critique: Sunroof’s ‘Stargazing’

Sunroof (@SunroofMusic) is the moniker of 20 year-old solo artist Jeff Simpson. The Bozeman, Montana resident receives high marks for his first ever LP Stargazing. Given the top-notch quality of the record from beginning to end, it is clear as crystal Simpson put his heart and soul into making this album. In fact, he wrote each song and handled the production, mixing, and mastering of Stargazing himself. Note to note, the album sounds like it was done by one of the greats like Trevor Horn, Glen Ballard, or Tom Lord-Alge.

‘Time Travel’ is a great opener that is reminiscent of Erasure’s brilliant sounds. Although it has that 1980s vibe about it, it sounds fresh and demonstrates an Owl City influence. The title track is a hybrid of The Postal Service meets Thirty Seconds To Mars.  Three tracks are ready to rule radio and with proper label support, they would be surefire hits. ‘Etherea’ that makes you wonder what if Ben Gibbard and Ellie Goulding teamed up. It is that much of a ingenious tune.  ‘Brave’, which features SayWeCanFly, has a video made for it and here’s hoping good press leads to it going viral. Lastly, ‘You and I’ is very marketable and this is where Sunroof comes off as a crossover star. This tune could attract listeners at Alternative, Hot AC, and Top 40 radio stations. Electronic-influenced artists Phantogram and Broods are enjoying success, so it is the right time for Sunroof to get himself out there and get a piece of the pie.

For a limited time, Stargazing has been made available to download for no cost at Sunroof’s Noise Trade page. Simpson has carved himself out a great first full-length effort that has multiple tracks that could be licensed to soundtracks, commercials, and sports montages. All the tunes are worth of a listen and with the right marketing, the album should generate a buzz for Sunroof for years to come.  This should be a huge year moving forward for him.  Not bad for a limited budget DIY record from a 20 year-old solo act from Montana.

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