Sun June share the Origins of their new single “Slow Rise II”: Stream

Austin natives step out of Terrence Malick's editing room and into an indie quintet

Sun June Origins, photo by Bryan Parker
Sun June Origins, photo by Bryan Parker

    Origins is a recurring new music feature providing an artist the chance to expose the inspirations of their latest track.

    Filmmaker Terrence Malick’s career has been marked by celebrations of both his Austin, Texas home and the local music culture. In a way, that makes it only fitting that his work would inadvertently birth another great Bat City band. Laura Colwell and Stephen Salisbury met while working on editing Malick’s films like Song to Song and decided to write some songs of their own. Using the studio offices as practice spaces, they formed Sun June with guitarist Michael Bain, drummer Sarah Schultz, and bassist Justin Harris.

    Now, they’re stepping out of the dark of the editing room with their debut album, Years. Out June 15th via Keeled Scales, the record showcases Sun June’s embracingly warm harmonies and judiciously employed reverb. Such is the case with the effort’s latest single, “Slow Rise II”. Colwell’s voice weaves its way gently between dreamy notes of indie folk pop like a sweetheart climbing under soft white sheets from the foot of your bed. There’s a sadness in that caress, though, as she sings, “Go ahead and look me in the eyes/ Tell me everything will be alright/ Oh, I’m lonely too.”


    Take a listen below.

    For more insight into the track, Colwell has unveiled the Origins of “Slow Rise II” — including why it’s called “II”.

    Alice Boman — “Waiting” (PAL remix):


    I (Laura) wrote “Slow Rise” twice. We recorded a version of it as a doo-wop/folk waltz, but it wasn’t really working, so we abandoned the song. I was listening to Alice Boman’s “Waiting” (the PAL remix) on repeat back then. There is this low bass-like electronic kick throughout, and its pulsing rhythm fights against the floating melody. I wanted to write a song that was built up from a bass line. I didn’t own a bass, never played one before, but I stole the one Stephen had and started messing around. I started singing the old “Slow Rise” melody over a 4/4 beat and thumped along with the bass. We liked how the melody stretched over the new tempo.

    Julia Jacklin — “Pool Party”:

    Julia Jacklin is the queen of the rock n’ roll waltz. We were all listening to “Pool Party” a lot when we started re-working this song. It has this great mix of long and short melodic phrases. I think it inspired us to rework the old chorus and make it more staccato.

    HEB Plus:

    I set out to write something romantic, but I had too much guilt about previous relationships, so the lyrics came out pretty angry/sad/confusing. It feels like romance mixed with disappointment mixed with resignation. And when I think about disappointment mixed with resignation I think about HEB Plus.



    I was between work contracts at the time and started following a recipe blogger. I made chocolate chip scones a lot. These scones are easy to make, but they take patience. I think those sad scone alone parties were evidence that I was in a new emotional place — one that was ready to be challenged. Maybe I’m reading too much into it. I was on a sugar high and trying to play bass.

    Milton Nasciemento — “Clube Da Esquina No. 2”:

    Michael, our lead guitarist, always brings in his own great ideas. Some of his guitar lines were inspired by the two-note patterns Milton Nasciemento uses in “Clube Da Esquina No. 2”.