Yibing Guo


Sun Daes

Tones and Textures

We all know that college is a time for growth, new experiences, experimentation. Lucky for us, Sun Daes took all those clichés to heart. In the year and a half since they came together, Max Goldenstein, Gabe Poissant, Jared Payzant, and JD Severino have taken Sun Daes from breezy Isla Vista commodity to legitimate rising star of the Santa Barbara music scene. How? For starters, there are the melodies, which swing and soar the way all good pop rock should. Delve a little further, though, and you’ll find a band with a serious ear for guitar tonality. Sun Daes’ richest reference points stretch back to ’60s icons like Dick Dale and The Zombies, but the band is better equipped for more contemporary comparisons. Think Real Estate, Wild Nothing, and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (who show up in S.B. next weekend, by the way).

Ask Goldenstein to describe Sun Daes’ sound, and he keeps it simple. “It’s chill surf-rock,” he explained last week via email. Sure. But it’s also swimming in a sea of subtle indie-pop influences.

“My brother was the one that got me to pick up a guitar,” says Goldenstein, “but Andrew Bird was the person to make me realize that nothing, not even being the only musician around, can hold you back from making something beautiful.”

With that in mind, Sun Daes’ lyric sheets read a little deeper, a little darker than the “chill surf rock” tag lets on. “Every night I ride my bike into the ocean / But every time I try / I can’t keep up the motion,” Goldenstein sings on “Pacific/Atlantic.” It’s a silly sentiment, but paired with the song’s lush washes of guitar, and delivered in Goldenstein’s sweetly imploring voice, it’s also a surprisingly poignant one. And it’s only getting better with age. Visit

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