Sunlight Ascending
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Sunlight Ascending

Clawson, Michigan, United States | SELF

Clawson, Michigan, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Real Detroit Weekly"

Oakland County-based indie metal maniacs Sunlight Ascending are taking over the current Detroit scene with their ambient approach to the genre. Led by the stinging strings of guitarists James Schultz, Sean Reed and Andy Mac, a smooth viola sound and a tight rhythm section, the band has leapt out into the forefront after opening for some big acts including These Arms Are Snakes.

While the band has stayed true to the foundations of both indie rock and metal, the group fashions both genres together like a painter, creating a beautiful soundscape that needs no words or vocals. The crunch of Maiden is there along with the noise-pop sensibilities of groups like The Velvet Underground. The band will be playing an all ages show at The Rec in Hazel Park on March 6. Catch the show and relish the intimate nature and beauty of what a wonderful group of teenagers is doing. - Eric Allen

"Absolute Punk"

Detroit, Michigan's Sunlight Ascending has me, as a post-rock consumer, all figured out. The band writes very straight-forward, dare I say easy, crescendo-rock powerhouse numbers that are really all I want in an average crave of the genre. On All The Memories, All At Once, dragging, ostentatious build-ups and dissonant chord progressions commonly found in contemporary siblings are muted in favor of immediacy; everything is what I like to call "logically beautiful" (really direct key inversions that convey emotion in a way everybody can understand). And the mindset pays off because the album turns out very solid and more importantly, accessible and enjoyable.

The six-minute opener "All the Memories, All at Once" is nothing special - whirring guitars creating an upbeat riff is a familiar tactic. Neither are the dampened "Four" and "Black Bear"; nevertheless, the trifecta is still a beautiful creation. "Continental Drift" is a gorgeously mysterious track, filled with muddy synths and a forlorn guitar line. "Out of This Place II," which precludes "Out of This Place" in typical, intentional confusion of order, is really the first demonstration of exceptional songwriting. An oriental motif surrounds a relatively short and to-the-point build-up, which ultimately explodes with the unveiling of the motif in the most powerful dynamic, before calming down in one minute. Ah, there is such beauty in the track, and it is accomplished in five minutes, and is a sort of raspberry in the face of pretentious post-rock bands that take minutes to bring the track to conclusion.

"Out of This Place" uses the same melody line from its predecessor, but never builds up, instead opting for a delicate and mournful atmosphere. "Reverse Dragons" turns up the volume again in a swift and precise rocker, and the album sounds like it could end on the lulling quietness of "Ocean Depth/Clothing Paths." The best is yet to come, however, as the 11-minute closer "Vanil/Requiescat" concludes with still a more glorious crescendo. The track finishes the album in what sounds like a vacuum hurricane, which is awkward but really overlookable considering the quality of everything else.

Music is inherently spiritual, and All the Memories, All At Once brings out this fact quite well. Each wondrous peak had me either closing my eyes in appreciation, or wishing one of these songs some movie-time in the near future. It's albums like this that are better described by listening rather than through words, so there's nothing more to say than bravo and encore. This is truly great. - Matthew Tsai

"The Silent Ballet"

In the last couple of years post-rock has taken a tumble in the popularity. After its 2004 heyday, the genre exploded in terms of bands, labels, fans, and coverage, naturally leading to a period of stagnation and disillusionment as everyone grew weary of Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed copyists. Thankfully, this appears to have leveled out, with bands like Saxon Shore, upcdownc, and Caspian, to name but a few, all breaking through with releases of genuine originality and quality. In hindsight, this stagnation was actually a blessing, not a curse; it forces bands to strive for excellence in order to be noticed, resulting in higher caliber of post-rock band emerging from the shadows. Gifts From Enola, If These Trees Could Talk, and The Dead Sea are leading the new revolution, and Sunlight Ascending will soon be joining their ranks.

Hailing from Detroit, this five piece extol the virtues of good old fashioned post-rock; haunting melodies, reverb laden guitar tones, quiet moments of contemplation, and loud moments of ferocity are the driving forces behind Sunlight Ascending. While not exactly re-inventing the wheel, it is exactly what one would want to display in a textbook demonstration of the genre, and a solid, but mostly unspectacular, album. Opener “All the Memories, All at Once” is well executed post-rock, with slow build-ups and loud/quiet dynamics aplenty, a theme continued with the brutal climax of “Black Bear.” The more considered, ambient side is shown with “Four” and “Ocean Depth/Closing Path,” while “Reverse Dragons” adds a melancholic swagger with melodies more akin to The Appleseed Cast. The album closes with “Vanil/Requiescat,” the longest song on offer and the undoubted highlight. It begins with a slow mournful waltz that gradual builds to an epic, crunching climax.
While All the Memories, All at Once is a solid, well produced composition, too often it fails to really excite, and seasoned post-rock listeners will find it a little too predictable. Each track frequently takes the exact turn we expect it to, but there’s still enough guile, craft, and atmospherics to highlight serious potential. Despite all the comparisons that can be made, the one most applicable to Sunlight Ascending is that of Giants. Similar in sound, Giants began their career with a solid yet unremarkable EP before focusing and refining their music to become one of the leading lights of the genre in the space of two years. Given their potential, expect Sunlight Ascending to be right up there with them by 2011. - James Ould


Sunlight Ascending is a new band, formed in 2007 by some kids (aged from 15 to 21) in USA. Their music is fully inspired by Radiohead, Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, God is an Astronaut and GY!BE. It's a great try and I am thinking that they deserve a lot of attention from fans of classic post-rock and modern shoegaze. They don’t miss anything from the bands that influence them and they have the potential to be better from them. This band could be the future of the saturated genre of post-rock. A fully atmospheric modern rock and a young and fresh music idea! Beautiful melodies and idyllic compositions, a travel in a dream and rigmarole from a sweet newborn baby. The disk is very sweet and it can raise your sentiments and your thoughts, something that all post rock groups who deserve to write music, can do and should do. - NoiZine

"Rock Freaks"

Be honest, how much time from your day do you grant those annoying bands that add you on Myspace? If you're anything like me, none, whatsoever. Yet for some reason, I was drawn to the name "Sunlight Ascending". It's just so... poetic. I gave them a few minutes of my precious time and listened to one of their demos, but seeing as at the time, I was enamored with Sleepmakeswaves' debut, their songs did very little for me, and I nearly completely forgot about them, apart from that name; Sunlight Ascending.

Many months later: I'm deeply in love with the newly-discovered (to me) post-rock genre, and they are releasing a full-length debut, with a title nearly as graceful as their band name; "All The Memories, All At Once". Of course I had my doubts, the residue of that demo that had me somewhat apathetic still lurked, but I was completely besotted with their name, and that was enough for me to give - at the very least - this album a listen.

Post-rock is very much a love/hate genre, which you will either find beautiful or pretentious. Sometimes, a band will come along that inspires both sides of the fence to tear down the divide and rejoice; and this band will (if not already) become one of those select few. This album catches my attentions and holds my affections in ways that bands they look up to, like This Will Destroy You and Explosions In The Sky have sometimes failed to do so.

The ambient feel they bring to the table helps the band create music that majestically uplifts and invigorates, and while still maintaining intensity on tracks such as "Reverse Dragons" and "Black Bear" (which utilizes clever use of electronics during the crescendo) when needed. Both "Out Of This Place" songs are magnificent, with the second (in track listing order) being, in my humble opinion, the best post-rock song this year. Oh, and don't forget the Balmorhea-esque "Four", which will have you transcending in to serenity.

A big hats-off to the production too. The nuances and subtleties in the production often tip songs from merely good, to great; "Out Of This Place" just would not be the same song without the attention to detail displayed, which can be said about the whole album, but it particularly stands out on that spacey and dreamy composition.

The fact these kids (YES, KIDS!) dug me out through that once addictive scene forum that is Myspace is redemption enough for all the floppy fringes, skinny jeans and lackluster three-word-named band adds I'm likely to get and never pay any mind whatsoever to. I'm still reluctant to pinch myself, in case it really is all a dream that these guys (and a girl) whose ages range from 14-21 can produce an album of such maturity far beyond their years. Never has potential been so unbridled. [8½] - Daniel Roe

"All The Memories, All At Once"

Sunlight Ascending seems to have everything in place. They have a five-piece setup, a jarring album title (All the Memories, All At Once), and the promotional backup of an upstart record label. In time they would share a stage with Pelican and InnerPartySystem. Even the hometown setting is ideal: the angst of Detroit's bi-polar economy has spilled measurably into the arts.

The debut album's opening cut is triumphant, optimistic and loud, a textbook example of post-rock done well: the grandiose and textured guitar intro, the soldier-march midsection, the drum math and the luxurious coda. In some quarters, an LP crowded with tracks of this sort of power would shortlist for album of the year. Other songs have their moments as well: the dazzling, child-of-Eno synth of "Continental Drift" and the simple themes and haunted chambers of "Out of This Place II".

The Silent Ballet's James Ould wrote, 'Each track frequently takes the exact turn we expect it to, but there's still enough guile, craft, and atmospherics to highlight serious potential.'

All the Memories, All At Once needs some sort of bombastic tattoo, a shocking body piercing, even a lousy song or two, anything to distinguish it from all the other andante compositions laced with decadent climbs and big finishes. All artists, instrumental groups in particular, should be mindful of the whistle test. "Out of This Place" may be tirelessly composed and expertly produced, and it might make for great highway listening, but one is unlikely to whistle it after parking the car...

...There's little here to criticize: no incongruous riffs or questionable scales, no excessive dissonance or unintended camp. None of the tracks are altogether disposable. Nothing backfires.

- The Silent Ballet - Fred Nolan

""You Don't Belong here""

You Don't Belong Here" is the third release from this young outfit from Detroit. Is it their best so far? Hard to say since their prior release, "All The Memories, All At Once" is a post-rock masterpiece. That said, "You Don't Belong Here" comes at the listener hard and strong with everything a fan of the genre could want...ominous edginess, crescendos, mature playing and plenty of emotion. This is only a 4-song release so if this is anything like what's to follow in a full-length, well, it should be exciting. Based on a concept of the four seasons, this recording is the result of combining Detroit youngsters still in their teens with Motown mastering legend Bob Dennis (Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Miracles, The Four Tops, The Supremes). Standout tracks on this EP are "Winter (Diorama Dream)" and "Summer (The Golden Plain)" which sounds like U2's Edge had his hands all over it. Epic and emotional, "You Don't Belong Here" continues Sunlight Ascending's, dare I say, ascension, up the post-rock ladder...Awesome!
- Progressive Archives - Ambientman

"A Dreampop Shoegaze Complilation: VARIOUS ARTISTS - JUST LIKE A DAYDREAM"

A MUST for all Shoegaze and Dreampop fans!!! One of the most beautiful, elegantly sequenced collections of tunes you may ever hear! This is what fans of RIDE, SLOWDIVE, & MY BLOODY VALENTINE...have been longing for! A stellar worldwide collection with many exclusive tracks only available here...the 75-minute plus disc includes the following bands: MALORY, SUNLIGHT ASCENDING, BRIEF CANDLES, THE JOY BUS, GLOWFRIENDS, SOUNDPOOL...and others. *****five stars for fabulous!!! - Jam Records

"Motor City's Burning"

Oakland County based indie metal maniacs Sunlight Ascending are taking over the current Detroit scene with their ambient approach to the genre. Led by the stinging strings of guitarists James Schultz, Sean Reed and Andy Mac, a smooth viola sound and a tight rhythm section, the band has leapt out into the forefront after opening for some big acts including These Arms Are Snakes.
While the band has stayed true to the foundations of both indie rock and metal, the group fashions both genres together like a painter, creating a beautiful soundscape that needs no words or vocals. The crunch of Maiden is there along with the noise-pop sensibilities of groups like the Velvet Underground...catch and relish the intimate nature and beauty of what a wondeful group of teenagers is doing. - Real Detroit Weekly

"Sunlight Ascending"



I’ve always been one who wants to be taken places when listening to music. Be it as far from the disturbing life I live in the dark basement that holds all the scraps from my past…or the mundane work that pays for that basement… I want to go somewhere when I hear that particular tune …maybe it’s Brian Eno or perhaps Sigur Ros…if it’s taking me somewhere…no need to pack…I’m going, man!

I like to think of myself as a proponent of local music, i.e. the Detroit “scene”. I love it…I breathe it…I live it…and I have lived it for over 40 years!!! Detroit music rules the universe but that Detroit “scene” would leave me to believe that this amazing noise was all produced in some dank, dark warehouse off Cass or Livernois…(hey…that does sound kind of nice )…but I digress…with every Emo, grind-core, black metal band I heard screaming until their throats bled there was another six claiming to be the next big band straight from Little Steven’s garage.

But lately I’ve been feeling as if something is missing…then it hit me like a punch to the throat…I realized there had to be more to the Detroit sound than what comes from the aforementioned metaphoric garage? There ARE places to go out there, correct? Places to go with music…things to feel…almost touch? Well, my ‘somewhere to go’, my musical punch to the throat, so to speak, was delivered by a few kids barely into their teens and they sent me to places I haven’t been too in years. Sunlight Ascending opened my eyes and ears. Comprised of the brothers Schultz; James and Jeremiah, Trish Chisholm, and Sean Reed on Viola… from Troy and Clawson…Sunlight Ascending gave me hope…hope that some young musicians still get it …

…Using distorted guitars and minimalist production, Sunlight Ascending swept me away with beautiful, emotional melodies... songs (Or are they themes?), that took me on faraway journeys….all I had to do to get there was take out their new Self-Titled CD, close my eyes… and I was on my way. For years I've been stuck believing that emotional depth in the Detroit music scene had all but disappeared…the real essence of the musicians’ soul seemed to be tossed aside and buried in those caves too many new bands call studios. But, I admit this now…I was wrong, wonderfully wrong. Sunlight Ascending have a new direction…they’re not alone either…local Groups and incantations like Jura, Indian Guides, Empress Plague , Wildcatting, Weak Men , Kindle and Oscillating Fan Club are all going along for the ride in the clouds. The old school, as fantastic as it is…may need to re-think what’s hot in the Motor City. We’ve had Motown, Techno, Garage and now…This new sound…at once experimental and ambient and then as raucous and exhilarating as a chainsaw…there are no cliché’s assigned to it…Just young minds with a new twist…

Sunlight Ascending doesn’t claim to be any saviors or innovators…their only claim is making music incredibly easy to listen to…soft and hard…soft AND hard….soft and HARD…little use for vocals here my friends…but if you have a viola and tape loops and digital reverbs and tremolos and chorus and whatever other guitar effect you can lay down in front of them…Well…now your talking…
wait , listen…what’s that? Why its music…beautiful emotional music… It’s Sunlight Ascending… Welcome to the 21st Century!

Welcome Sunlight Ascending !
- UndergroundReview

"Band Spotlight - Sunlight Ascending"

If you were to listen to this band on a whim without looking at a press release or MySpace page, your first thought might be how Sunlight Ascending have mastered that dreamy, instrumental sound that has become increasingly popular through labels like Temporary Residence and Rock Action. But I want to focus on the press release for a second. The age of the band members in Sunlight Ascending range from 14 to 21. It is pretty impressive that a band this young can play at a level that some musiciains 10-15 years their senior aren't even close to. If you are a fan of any of the bands and/or record labels above, I would have a hard time imagining you not becoming a fan of this up-and-coming band. To the band, I say keep up the great work and go for it. College is overrated anyways. - All Night Wallflower


"You Don't Belong Here" EP - 2010 - Self-Released
"All The Memories, All At Once" CD - 2009 - FutureRecordings
"Sunlight Ascending" - Self Titled Demo - 2008 - Self-Released
"Just Like A Daydream" - Compilation CD - 2008 - Jam Records
"Sonic Lullaby 1.0" - Compilation CD - 2008 - Sonic Lullaby Records



Sunlight Ascending is an ambient rock band out of Oakland County, Michigan that came together in the beginning of 2007, during which all of the members were just starting up high school. Their intention from the start was to create a melodic, atmospheric, and completely instrumental sound of their own that didn't need words or vocals.

Sunlight Ascending transcend all preconceived notions of what kids are expected to play in Metro-Detroit. The quintet does not cater to the Metalcore/Screamo music of Oakland County, nor to the alt-pop or garage-based sound of their Detroit rock-n-roll brethren; instead, what comes from this young band are ominous moods, hard driving crescendos, and a knack for unique songwriting and structure; their all-instrumental approach is at once mature, exhilarating and emotional.

Fresh off the release of their third CD, "You Don't Belong Here", and 2009's, "All The Memories, All At Once", Sunlight Ascending continues to deliver powerful and memorable soundscapes. "You Don't Belong Here" was mixed and mastered by Motown legend Bob Dennis (Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder). Their music was also featured on two compilation CD's released in August of 2008; “Just Like A Daydream”, a shoegaze collection released by Jam Records, and “Sonic Lullaby 1.0” on Paul McLeod’s local Detroit label, Sonic Lullaby.

After a small line-up change and some time off to tighten up their songwriting and live show, they recorded their debut full-length CD, "All the Memories, All at Once", in March and April of 2009 with Carl Kondrat of Mind Vine Media. The album was put out by the Californian-label Futurerecordings on June 1st as a distribution deal. Later on in the year, they embarked on their first mini-tour with North Carolina-based band Orbs (Featuring members of Between the Buried and Me and Fear Before). In May and June of 2010, they recorded and self-released a 4-song EP called "You Don't Belong Here" with Matt Dalton and Ryan Arini of 37 Studios. The EP was mastered by Bob Dennis in July at the Recording Institute of Detroit. It was released as a digi-pak on October 10th, and they are currently scheduling a vinyl release as well.

They have since gone on to play with bands such as Pelican, These Arms Are Snakes, The Dodos, Saosin, Gifts From Enola, Efterklang, InnerPartySystem, Make Do and Mend, Hostage Calm, Pianos Become the Teeth, and many, many more.