The high-spirited indie alternative band U.S. Royalty’s “Blue Sunshine” incorporates an older feel in its instrumentals and mixes that old-time ambiance with an updated and more modern take on vocals. The mostly upbeat songs on the record emulate more retro-sounding songs by integrating a few instruments not commonly used in modern alternative such as the mellotron and organ.The band also included various synthesizers to create a different sound and personalize their music. Songs on the album that most evidently display this infatuation with older instrumentals are “Slow Dancing,” which puts out a bit of an 80s feel and “Valley of the Sun” which is slightly reminiscent of the 60s. Some of the sounds are even comical to an extent; in “South Paradiso” the song begins with a trailing guitar sound usually found in songs associated with the beach, much like the opening in the song “Wipeout.” This excursion from the typical sounds of alternative music exhibits the band’s playful affinity for deviating from normalcy and creating their own, blended sound.
The compilation of dated and modern instruments is accompanied by a powerful and confident voice. John Thornley, the lead singer, emits a self-assured tone when he is performing; he gradually raises his voice higher and louder like he is extending his voice and himself to the audience to emphasize his lyrics and his forward emotions. There is something slightly immature in the way Thornley sounds; his bold outbursts are resonant of teenage expression. Alongside these tracks of intrepid vocals and musical flashbacks, is the song “De Profundis,” which infuses the album with a strictly instrumental track. The gripping guitar played by Paul Thornley, vibrates with dark, daring, and suspenseful undertones. After the unusual, but intriguing guitar break, the album delves right back into the hard-hitting and assured vocals. This catchy and rhythmic album takes a few chances by imitating an older sound, switching up instruments and synthesizers with background vocals, and putting forth uninhibited and brazen vocals. U.S. Royalty’s album is distinctive and definitely something to move to. -Rhianna Slager