Louis O’Callaghan and Sarah McGuinn – aka Sun Tunnels – have cranked out yet another beauty. Until a few minutes ago I thought “Not Old” – another selection from the intergalactic rock opera the band is allegedly cooking up, I believe – had been on Ball of Wax in another form already. I was certainly familiar enough with the tune, had already been hooked by its insistent closing “come on” refrain. Turns out I had just heard an earlier version on Soundcloud back in 2012 and blogged about it (and then sung along from the audience at an open mic at the Skylark). As always, a home-recorded demo of one of Louis’s songs is a treat for the ears, but wow, what Sarah has done with production and her own voice is simply sublime. It starts off just the same as the demo, if a little peppier – solo Louis and acoustic guitar – but soon enough we have ukulele, synths, electronic drums, Sarah backing up and then swapping in on lead vocals (I swear I’ve listened a dozen times and I can never catch whose voice is which when they make the switch in that second verse), and this beautiful, dreamy ending, still urging “come on,” but more seductively, twinkly ’80s synths twirling around the countermelody. All in less than three minutes, like any great pop song.
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