Listening to Bad Suns Makes Me Smile

Simple joys are underrated. The buttery deliciousness of a grilled cheese sandwich, the optimistic first light of an early summer morning, snuggling in with a blanket fresh out of the dryer on a cold winter day—these things are easily replicable and even more easily overlooked but they are excellent. And they never fail to make me smile.

Listening to Bad Suns can feel like that.

I’ve waxed on and on about the band’s most recent album, Mystic Truth, which I called the best record of 2019 and the ninth best record of the last decade, so we don’t need to go too far down the rabbit hole of their praiseworthiness here. Suffice to say that Bad Suns is great and that you should spend some time working through their estimable catalog. Particularly songs like “Swimming in the Moonlight” from their sophomore LP, 2016’s Disappear Here.

“Swimming in the Moonlight” is simply constructed—we’re talking verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus, outro here—and its understated instrumentation doesn’t break any new ground. Its melodies and harmonies are tight but not groundbreaking and its lyrics are saccharine and clichéd. And yet the song is fantastic, the kind of track I can listen to on repeat for a solid hour because, for all that simplicity, there’s a pure, unfiltered joy to “Swimming in the Moonlight” and, no matter how many times I listen to it, it never fails to put a smile on my face. Simple joys are underrated.

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