Jamie Martel (drums and vox), Jordan Jackson (guitar) and John Kyle (bass), have been playing and writing music together in a bunch of different bands since their high school days. Now they’re Raymond Sunshine.
“Raymond Sunshine is our chance to get together as friends to write and play music for ourselves,” explains Jamie. “We’ve been playing together for so long that we are super aware of our tastes, and trust each other to bring something interesting to the music.”
And that music is fun-filled, fast-paced, sunny (yes) and quirky garage-rock, with 2022-released track Over And Over leading the charge to date.
‘We approach all of our songs with a natural musical chemistry and a good sense of humour,’ as their Bandcamp page states.
Previous single, Rattled, was the first song the self-managed Tāmaki Makaurau trio had also produced and recorded themselves.
“Putting that out was a real achievement! It took close to a year because we didn’t really know what we were doing, but we learned so much, and we wouldn’t have got here today if we hadn’t done it.”
In contrast Over And Over came together quickly, almost subconsciously. Jamie says the words sounded good over the music, but the song’s meaning only really revealed itself once it was close to done. Turns out it’s about routines, and how easy it is to get caught up in them without realising it.
“With Over And Over, we really focused on the balance between simple and surprising. It’s important to have catchy moments, but we also love an opportunity to include some elements that are more technical or creative to catch a listener’s ear. We’ve also really leaned into our band being a three-piece, developing arrangements that we can pull off live, and trying not to overdo it.”
Musically it’s certainly fun, the band experimenting with different guitar effects like pitch shifting and vibrato, aiming to give the melodies character and personality.
The band rehearse in an Onehunga storage unit, and recorded Over And Over there. It’s close to the road and Martel says there’s lots of traffic noise in the vocal tracks.
“We played the rhythm tracks all together as a band, instead of layering our parts, which is a new way of working for us. We recorded it together as a band specifically to try and capture the feeling of us playing together in a room and having fun. It was a very relaxed process and I think it captured something genuine in the performance. If listeners enjoy the energy of the track then we did our job right.”
And that name? Well, Raymond Sunshine is apparently an (affectionate) nickname John used to refer to Jordan’s dad. It fits.