Published Jun 11, 2014A couple months ago, Philly-based shoegazers A Sunny Day in Glasgow announced their first new album in four years. Sea When Absent will arrive via Lefse Records on June 24, and though it's been a number of years since Ashes Grammar and 2010 EP Autumn, Again, vocalist Jen Goma tells Exclaim! the band "didn't mean to take that long" following up their 2009 full-length.
"That wasn't the grand plan, like we had some four-year chart. It was ready to go last year, but we did some other stuff while we were waiting because we didn't have a label," Goma explains. "And we were ready to get it out, but thought we should lay out a plan for when we did put it out. I guess it took four years because time got away from us. It was a lot longer than we thought it would [take]."
Part of that time included raising money to pay for the album through Kickstarter. At the time, it was still quite a novel concept, but like all of the best ideas out there, it was funded instantly.
"It was so much more successful than we ever thought it'd be," says Goma. "Even asking for that amount of money, we were thinking, 'Oh no, I hope we don't lose the Kickstarter.' If we were asking for too much money we wouldn't get any. And we had to think about how much it would cost. It was way under what it actually cost. But obviously any help was amazing. And yeah, that was an insane response to have it be funded in 24 hours."
Unlike some funded projects, though (most recently Kathleen Hanna doc The Punk Singer), Goma says the band were very conscious of giving the backers what they promised.
"I feel like it was also very overwhelming to be that small business that returned all of the rewards to everybody. We've heard horror stories about that and we didn't want to be one of those bands, where the people who donate don't get what they paid for. Anyway, the promises we came up with were all things we thought would be fun to make. And they were really fun to make."
As for what fans can expect from Sea When Absent, the press release, which claims this is A Sunny Day in Glasgow "at their most accessible, most insane, and most rock" isn't a mistake.
"When we made Autumn Again on tour, it was such a joyful time on the road," explains Goma. "That was our first swing at writing pop songs, but we didn't have all of the tools to tackle that form of pop-specific songwriting. Ben [Daniels] said in another interview, 'I never thought Ashes Grammar was ambient at all. I thought it was pretty rockin'. And then I go back and listen to it now and yeah, it's pretty ambient.' Sometimes you just don't know how it's going to come off. When the album was finished, we had some time before the press release went out, so we listened to it and realized that yeah, this is a pretty crazy record that I guess is more accessible."
Goma, meanwhile, is a vocalist in demand. Not only is she splitting her time between A Sunny Day in Glasgow and her other band, People Get Ready, but she recently sang lead on two tracks, "Kelly" and "Life After Life," from the new Pains of Being Pure at Heart album, Days of Abandon.
"[Pains frontman] Kip [Berman] and I are neighbours in the same part of Greenpoint, Brooklyn," she says. "He's always been a Sunny Day fan, and I think the first incarnation of ASDIG played a gig at Kip's loft, so they just became friends then. And so, I was just a friend and when he was making this new album he asked if I wanted to sing and play some instruments with him and Kurt. In a way, it was the easiest thing. It was fun."
Look for Sea When Absent June 24 and listen to the band's new single, "Bye Bye Big Ocean (The End)," below.