REVIEW: AV Super Sunshine — Sweetwater (EP)

Colin Jordan
3 min readFeb 11, 2024

Slinky harmonies and lyric-powered pop simplicities are par for the course in all of the songs that occupy the tracklist of Sweetwater, the new extended play from AV Super Sunshine, but if you want to get a basic idea about just how beautifully these two components can be when they’re under the command of the one and only AV, you don’t need to look any further than the gritty grooves of the alternative bruiser “Smile (Guitar Rock Mix).”

REVERBNATION: https://www.reverbnation.com/artist/AVSuperSunshine

In “Smile,” harmony isn’t as much the product of like forces coming together in a melodic marriage as it is the result of multiple clashing components that, in their measured form here, create a lot of tension which makes the fever pitch of the song — the chorus — all the more cathartic. AV Super Sunshine is playing for the fans and no one else in Sweetwater, and ironically sounding more in touch with his motivations than he did before.

After much consideration, I think that this is a high point in the career of AV and the talented multi-instrumentalists he assembles for the recording studio.

As much as “Smile (Guitar Rock Mix)” captures the very framework of Sweetwater in a single track, “Steel Bridge (Folk Rock Mix)” sounds and feels like an identity song for this new era in the storied history of AV Super Sunshine. With enough emotion to pulverize just about anything that gets in its path, “Steel Bridge (Folk Rock Mix)” does most of its damage with a stately melody and bulging conceptualism that, though not quite as evocative as the uneven rhythm of “Change” is, leaves a lasting impression on anyone who happens to hear its decadent sway.

“Change” is an experimental composition that could qualify as the most exotic of any on the EP, but it doesn’t minimize the marvelousness of the songs around it at all. Unlike a lot of the mainstream alternative EPs that have been making noise so far in 2024, Sweetwater isn’t blemished with stylistic contradictions cloaked as inventive hybridity; although abstract in structure, this is a great representation of who AV Super Sunshine is.

“August Child” boasts some of the most moving vocal work that I’ve heard from this act so far, but in terms of sheer emotionality, “Two Hearts (Guitar Rock Mix)” and the title track that opens Sweetwater are the cream of the musical crop (and the latter’s music video is equally eyebrow-raising). You can tell that my main man is invested in the song from the start of the jam to the very instant that the track segues into the angelic harmony that initiates “Smile (Guitar Rock Mix),” and try as they may, it’s difficult for me to imagine this act’s closest rivals producing anything quite as passionate as this number is without borrowing a little from the model set forth by its melodies.

I was fairly certain that I would be wowed by AV Super Sunshine in this brand-new EP, but I didn’t expect to be as spellbound by its songcraft as I ultimately was. Sweetwater is an epic extended play that, simply put, belongs to the fans it was so carefully made for this season.

Colin Jordan

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Colin Jordan

Graduate: McNeese State University, Avid Beekeeper, Deep Sea Diver & Fisherman, Horrible Golfer