Must Peep Monday No. 8

Mornin’ Dew // Sunni Colón

Who isn’t a sucker for the strange, liminal stretches of time between seasons? The first flowers forcing their way through a bed of brown, shriveled leaves, the radiant sheets of green parting to let sunshine glint off a sweaty cheekbone and bake the ground underfoot, the trees giving up their first leaves before the skies agree to do the same with their temperatures — it’s all fantastic. “Mornin Dew” by Sunni Colon is the latter experience in a bottle: The final days and hours of summertime you spend clinging to frozen drinks and sunburns, in denial of the colder days ahead.

If I sound a bit heady here, it’s only to match the tone of “Mornin Dew.” Colon’s reverb-drenched crooning vocals meet upbeat, animated drums and an earworm of a bassline to create a spaced-out atmosphere that never drops the energy. He even looks kinda like Frank. Woozy but lively, “Mornin Dew” is equal parts nostalgia fuel and dreamlike futurism. It’s got an immediate familiarity to it while maintaining an otherworldly tinge, like a Polaroid picture developed in space.

In a way, it helps to know that Colon does more than just music: He dabbles in architecture, live sound installations, and even furniture. It’s this overarching holistic creativity that he brings to his music, giving him a perspective untethered by the conventions of genre and trends. This feature of his work makes it really hard to distill “Mornin Dew” down to a few genre markers, but to say it’s like 70’s-soul-meets-psychedelic-funk-meets-synthpop is somewhere in the ballpark.

Colon’s work is tough to draw comparisons to — lacking classical training or the desire to fit in, he drifts between styles and sounds at his leisure. Still, his hazier, synthetic moments are similar to Washed Out, he’s got the magnetism and funk undertones of Phony Ppl, and his gentle croon and effortless musical versatility have shades of Frank Ocean. (That is not a comparison I throw around.) If any of these artists are favorites of yours, get yourself acquainted with Sunni Colon.

The first time I heard “Mornin Dew,” I was interested and entertained. By the third or fourth time, however, I was fully engrossed – it was stuck in my head all day. “Mornin Dew” is sunny, warm, and full of life without retreading any of the obvious paces most musicians would go through to achieve this effect. Colon is adamant to do things his way, and I wouldn’t have him do them any other way.

One last note- his video for the album is absolutely enthralling and it also deserves a look.

-Jonah Bird

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