Using lyrics as a foundation for broad communication is not a new thing for AV Super Sunshine, but based on his exploits in the new single “Sink or Swim” and its remix, you would never guess as much. AV Super Sunshine sounds more than expressive here; from the foundation of the words to the structure of the music, this is undeniably some of his most full-bodied content thus far. If you’re new to his work, sit back and relax; those who are familiar with this music simply need to buckle up and prepare themselves for something different.
One of the first elements that hits us in the stock version of this single is the guitars and their prominence in the mix, and I’m glad that AV went with something more aggressive here. There’s room for some indulgence, but it’s all on the instrumental side as if to suggest that the lyrics are already giving us all the springboard we need to really understand the depth of the narrative at hand, which is not the sort of mature move that a lot of this artist’s closest rivals on either side of the dial are doing right now.
The narrative that AV is creating doesn’t start and end with the poetic sensibilities of his words, but instead the continuity of the piece as a whole, which is why I think both the remix and the regular versions of this single are both as thoroughly produced as they could be. It would have been too easy to over-plasticize this groove in the wrong situation, but even the designated club rendition of this song feels like it was sourced from somewhere personal as opposed to coming from a desire to simply be heard by more people.
AV is not afraid to let the rhythm define a good portion of the mood in this track, and while the percussion is understated in comparison to the other elements in the mix, I don’t think we need a lot of big beats to connect with the pulse of the groove in “Sink or Swim.” On the contrary, this player has made it so that the drums can be rather removed from the action and still make a contribution to the fluidity of the track, which is a lot harder than it might sound on paper.
In this love letter to his longtime rock fans, the versatile and often unpredictable AV Super Sunshine is back to his old tricks, but don’t think that this is just more of the same in every department.
In reality, I don’t believe that we’ve ever heard this kind of confident output from AV Super Sunshine before, which is saying something given the caliber of material he’s released to the masses in the past few years alone. This is a specific look, but for what “Sink or Swim” is really made of, it’s perhaps one of the best examples of straightforward pop/rock that doesn’t live inside of a simplistic aesthetical box all of the time.