By Liz Barry
It’s hard to pin down Evan Sunley, especially now that he has his own band, but various sources describe his music as folk and country, bossa nova, avant-pop – and that’s a pretty accurate number of descriptions. Yet on many levels his music goes deeper, there is a deep soulfulness to his music that will have you wanting more. As a solo singer-songwriter, Evan James Sunley first grabbed my attention in 2006 with the release of his second EP, featuring the divine Over the Moon, which also appeared on a Dunedinmusic.com compilation to critical acclaim. On this new album he’s joined by Scott Campbell, Karl CB, Aiden Fraser, Chris Keogh, Ben Sargent, Emma Smith, Anthony Tonnon and Logan Valentino. Some songs have a hint of sadness. There is also love, loss, longing, darkness and hope. All the while, Sunley’s delightful folk-country rhythms permeate the 11 tracks of ‘Apologies’ with simple, intelligent and satisfying arrangements. Long-schooled in the Dunedin tradition of dark, gently forceful music, this is rewarding listening, as are his live peformances – warm, inviting and totally mesmerising.