On June 15th, 2018, alternative rock group Mayday Parade released their seventh full-length studio album, Sunnyland. The album as a whole gives that old Mayday sound we all know an love with a more mature feel.
Cover art plays a big role in the overall feel of the album. The art for Sunnyland is what seems to be a photo taken in the fall of leafless trees, and clouds during sunrise. While the significance of this choice of artwork is unclear, it gives a darker feel when listening to the songs.
Prior to the release of the full album, a few singles were released: “Piece of Your Heart”, “Never Sure” and “It’s Hard To Be Religious When Certain People Are Never Incinerated By Bolts Of Lightning”. These were the perfect songs to choose to release as singles. The tracks are all different but are a great set up for what’s to expect from the rest of the album.
The album opens with “Never Sure”, which has that heavier rock sound we expect to hear from the band. This fits perfectly seeing as the song has a strong message of heartbreak in an unstable relationship. The track starts with an explosion of sound. We hear guitar, drums and bass full force right at the start. With this being the opening of the album this was a good move on their part, it gets the listener pumped for what’s to come.
“It’s Hard To Be Religious When Certain People Are Never Incinerated By Bolts Of Lightning” is a perfect song for when you’re angry. This song talks a lot about how certain people in life say things to pretend everything’s okay when everyone else knows its not. A lot of us have people like this in our lives, or know someone that has acted this way, and it can be frustrating, making this a very relatable song for some. With that classic Mayday rock sound, this song takes you through highs and lows. It starts all at once with this feeling of anger, slows down towards the middle of the song giving you a chance to cool down, then brings back that angry feeling once we get to the end of the song.
“Piece of your heart” has harmonies that will get stuck in your head for days. It has almost a softer feel to it, while still having the heavier bass drum to bring that rock aspect back in. The track is the perfect feel good song. It’s not too slow, but also not too fast. It’s one of those song you can imagine yourself singing while driving with the windows down, screaming it a the top of your lungs.
“Is Nowhere” is one of those songs that when you hear it you know its a Mayday Parade song. It’s an explosive sound and really hits home with your inner rock kid. For this particular one, you can’t help but have this overwhelming feeling that you want to start moshing. When hearing this song we picture a crowd going crazy.
“Take My Breath Away” takes a step back and slows things down for the first time on the album. Relationships can be hard, but when you have someone that is willing to do everything and anything for you they get better. That is exactly what were hearing in this song. A person that will literally do whatever it takes for the person they love to make them feel better. This song is very mellow and very simple. For a majority of it we just hear Derek and a guitar. As the song moves on the only thing added is a soft harmony that really makes you fall in love.
The sixth track on Sunnyland is “Stay the Same”. The title really says it all for this track. The song talks about not changing and keeping things how they are. “Don’t you change for anybody or anything”, is a line in this song that truly stood out. It give off the message that you are perfect the way you are and there’s no need to change yourself for others.
“How Do You Like Me Now” is the song to rock out to. It’s loud, and has the sound that makes you want to dance, even if you didn’t know you wanted to. Once the chorus of the song comes in, it drops in a way that makes you throw your hands up and have a good time.
“Where You Are” is another mellow song off this record. The song is very sweet, and loving. While it is unclear what the true message of the song is, we can assume that it has something to do with a military personnel and the person that they love. Listening to this song and trying to find the real story of it, is definitely something that can play with your emotions.
“If I Were You” is one of those songs that people can relate to. The song talks about someone messing up, big time, and sometimes you just want to “drive as far away to a place where no one knows my name”. Right from the start the track is heavy in guitar and drums. During the verses the drums are prominent and the guitar fades. Once the chorus hits the guitars come back in heavier than earlier in the song.
“Satellite” feels like a very dreamy song. It has a sort of mellow sound to start, but is still exciting. Relationships seem to be a constant theme through the whole album, and we get another feel of that in this song. The basis of the song is that a person will do anything for the one they love. The piano we hear in the song give it that dream feel. Instead of hearing drums all at once we hear the drumstick hitting together at the beginning of the song. This gives the song a sound that very different from any of the other songs we’ve heard so far.
“Looks Red, Tastes Blue” is a song about realizing. The song talks about being in denial and finally realizing and accepting that something has happened. It may not be something that you wanted to happen, but it did and now you’re left to face it. The band does a good job with balancing a softer tempo song with a rock song. During the verses it’s a lot more chilled out, and then explodes when the chorus comes in. We hear the song get louder and the harmonies get much stronger.
Second to last on the album is “Always Leaving”. Simply this track talks about a person that is sad because it seems that the person they love never stays. This song is strictly acoustic guitar, and is the same few notes over and over again creating the whole song.
Finally the album closes out with “Sunnyland”. Growing up is inevitable, and this song tells about that, while giving us that walk down memory lane feel. It touches on how things are so much easier when were younger, and people tend to become more unhappy as they get older. “But then once I hit the ball and it sailed over the plate, yeah, I felt my gut all filled up with pride”, This line explains how the littlest things could make us happy when were younger. Another mellow song, but one that people will love. The song has strong, beautiful harmonies accompanied by an acoustic guitar.
All in all, I personally really enjoyed this album. The band gave us everything we love about Mayday Parade and fit it all into 13 amazing songs. If you haven’t already, definitely go check out Sunnyland.