The Underground: Soil & The Sun – What Wonder Is This Universe!

Welcome to The Underground (or Notes from the Underground if you’re a Dostoyevsky nerd), a weekly segment in which I examine the very best in unsigned, undiscovered and underground music. It’s my goal to highlight and hopefully promote talented artists who have yet to receive the attention they deserve. If you know of (or are!) a band/artist you think should be featured on The Underground, please give them a shout out in the comments below, or alternatively you can tweet me their info @AnOrangeFellow.

Something that makes me thankful about my involvement in The Underground is just the sheer number of damned interesting albums I get to hear. I really believe there’s a certain type of music that can only really exist (or at least, find its beginning) online. It may not always totally work, but more often than not it captures the imagination and holds the attention in unique and prominent ways. The Soil & the Sun’s latest release is a great example of an inspiring and unusual album that manages to outshine its flaws and become something rather splendid.

Splendour is actually something What Wonder Is This Universe! Has a whole ton of. As one can assume from the title, the album contains within it a strong sense of wonder, scope and travel. The album employs transition well, moving from acoustic, sylvan sound to grand celestial movements. The Soil and the Sun readily and effectively moves from Earth-toned soundscapes to grand vocal choruses – and it’s this journey that really becomes the albums greatest strength. The builds of the album work perfectly because there’s a genuine effort and appreciation in them. When “You Alone Know” begins its upwards vocal spiral towards its climax, it feels like there’s an emotional weight to it. The six minutes that preceded it earned it its precedence, and the minute of wind-down afterwards earns solidifies its importance.

The record’s greatest flaw is perhaps its pacing, most noticeably its weak opening. “Through these Walls” is by no means a bad song – however it is perhaps the albums most stationary, safest track. What Wonder Is This Universe! Contains such a big sound you can’t help but feel the long, unchanging hymn of “Through these Walls” somewhat misrepresents the album, and unfortunately grants it a slow start.

If it’s late at night, and you find yourself watching the skies, What Wonder Is This Universe! Makes for an appropriate, wonderful journey from the pastoral to the stars.

Listen to and purchase What Wonder Is This Universe! Here.

Like the Soil & the Sun on Facebook here.

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