Oh, boy, where do I begin? Sun Q is a two-piece band that put out their sophomore album “Myth” last year in November. Elena Tiron, who sings vocals and backing vocals, and Ivan Shalimov, who plays guitars, keyboards, and bass, make up Sun Q. However, they enlisted so many other great musicians for the record.

It’s always been a tricky thing about sophomore albums, you know?! As it can either break or make a band, but worry not, “Myth” has knocked all of my expectations out of the park. I’m not gonna lie, this psychedelic music was not exactly my cup of tea, but I give credit to great music when I hear it. “Myth” is an album filled with awe-inspiring performances and deeply introspective lyrics, or as they say “it’s all about tapping into a power that exists beyond our five senses, bridging the gap between the subconscious and logic.

I cannot express enough how uniquely and captivating this album is, with its blend of progressive, blues, rock, and psych-pop. Though I would try, I cannot strongly encourage you enough to lose yourself in its emotional soundscapes and open your mind to the universe presented within. After listening to this magical experience numerous times, I am unable to put into words anything nearly as eloquent as what the band has created here.

The opener ‘Jone Doe‘ sets the tone well. It’s a layered, cinematic song that allows us to get to know Sun Q better. But for me, it is ‘Children Singing‘ that opens this fantasy world. The track is emotional and beautiful, honest and cathartic, uplifting and haunting at the same time. The emotional intensity of the track gradually builds through the album and a nearly continuous track-to-track flow.

On ‘Tree‘, you’re witnessing how psychedelic rock smoke takes over the song, with great harmonics, vocals, and instrumentals. ‘Animals‘ has an Eastern traditional feel to it, a super moving rhythm that puts it over the edge, while ‘Dionysus‘ is different from any of the tracks on the record. It is heavier, has more electric guitars, and more of a funky beat, if you will.

Reminiscent of the late 70s, precisely of King Crimson, the album ends so beautifully with ‘Elizabeth Siddal‘ and ‘Crystal Doors.’ While these are some of the longest tracks on the record, the hypnotic grooves make them feel like a blink of an eye. Added to the richness of emotion within the music is the album’s backstory: “It represents a creative collaboration among musicians and specialists from various countries. We recorded it in Russia, visiting different studios in search of rare Soviet synthesizers, vintage tape instruments, and anything that could enhance our sound. A diverse array of musicians contributed to the recording, enriching our songs with vibrant strings and brass sections, not to mention unique instruments from all over the world, like Swedish nyckelharpa and African percussion. We even got three different choirs from Russia, the USA, and Uganda.

Speaking of skills, it feels like every note was strongly considered to play a part in a larger picture. No effort has been wasted and nothing has been added for the sake of showing off. No one is overstepping anyone else, as they are all working together to achieve the best possible outcome.

Myth” is an extremely solid release, and Sun Q’s sense of melody and skill in songwriting help them stand out musically. The album also has a kind of duality to it, as it has value both as conscious, complicated music and as passive background music. Upon close listening, there is a great deal of complexity to be appreciated in the layers of guitar riffs, bass soloing, and smooth blues percussion. Additionally, this is an excellent album to play in the background and help the brain flow to focus on another task. This is in part because the album is mastered and mixed well.

If you like psychedelic progressive stuff, you should check this one out, pronto. Spare around 40 minutes of your uninterrupted time to let all of Sun Q sink in. Let your mind wander to the tunes, and allow them to evoke whatever images they so desire. Because I promise you, the journey is worth it.

Sun Q assembled a diverse list of artists for Myth, including Yaroslav Shevchenko, Timur Gumarov, and Andrey Pristavka, on drums and percussion; Andrey Travkin, on bass; Asya Sorshneva, on viola, violin, and nyckelharpa; Olga Kalinova, on cello; Andrey Tanzu, on percussion; Daniil Dubrovsky, on saxophone; Linar Asfatullin, on trombone; Evgeny Kondratyev, on trumpet; Roman Shilepin, on baritone saxophone; Tatiana Gaivoronskaya, Elmira Spichakova, Fotinya Fo, sang in the choir, and performed backing vocals; and Prosper Mamaeva aka ‘Princess Netashiva’, Benji ‘SlimBeats’ Kasule, Esther Barbara Schafer, Southern University Gospel Choir, performed in the choir.

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Still can't tell exactly my origins because of my suspiciously ‘Chinese eyes’.