Brasstronaut's previous album, 2010's Mount Chimaera, earned the band the ECHO Songwriting Prize and a nomination for the Polaris Music Prize, plus a host of followers across the country (who forked out over $15,000 as part of a successful Indiegogo campaign to fund the release of the follow-up). Rather than attempt to recreate their successful debut, the Vancouver, BC six-piece shift gears on Mean Sun, forgoing jazzy piano and dense percussion in favour of pillow-y synths and expansively layered ambience. The risky move pays off with their best material to date. The dirge-like title track marries queasy synth swells with an effectively dead-eyed vocal delivery, while "Moonwalker" (fronted by guitarist Tariq Hussain) lives up to its title with a cosmic swirl of echoed singing and back-masked electronics. Nothing is immediately catchy, and it's difficult to imagine the hiccupping 7/4 rhythms of "Fossil" or the faux-medieval flute of "Revelstoke Dam" finding a place on radio. Despite the lack of pop-friendly tunes, the album's laid-back vibes take hold with repeat listens. If Brasstronaut's fans are willing to go along for the ride, Mean Sun will reward the patient.