On “Backseat,” Jacksonville Singer-Songwriter Sun Child Untangles their Radiant Charms

Sun Child press photo
Jacksonville singer-songwriter Brooke Garwood released her debut EP as Sun Child in late April | Courtesy of the artist (cropped)

Somewhere between the prescriptive freedom-with-an-asterisk atmosphere of indie and the predictable wash-and-wear weather of Adult Album Alternative exists the music of Sun Child. Led by beaches native Brooke Garwood (Girl Pluto), the debut EP Everything features six cuts that lean predominately on acoustic guitar and piano arrangements with a production that is polished to a mellow, decorous sheen.

Backseat” is in some ways the standout track of the EP, the remainder of which is populated by introspective ballads which, depending on one’s disposition, either evoke a consistent mood and sound or spin predictably in a stalled and pleasant sameness. With its driving acoustic guitar, tasteful neo-Tex-Mex guitar accompaniment, and brush-on-snare drums, over which Garwood’s undeniable vocal skills unravel a tale of getting high in the backseat with the “radio blasting” and other road-bound reveries, “Backseat” is undeniably the EP’s keeper.

Key to Sun Child’s radiant charms is that the music is resolutely lacking in snark and self-consciousness. We are deep in the age of post-ironic winking references where everyone knows everything all at once, minus any outward universal wisdom. Garwood’s music isn’t naïve but it surely sounds indifferent to the world that is arguably buckling all around the rest of us. No small feat.

“Backseat” and the entire Everything EP seem to operate outside the perma-feed of true-crime podcasts, influencer plutocrats, and the mandated upgrading of everything from burritos to orgasms. But Sun Child isn’t afraid to walk without the armor and quills up, and Brooke Garwood is a certain reminder of the diversity, variety and strengths of local music. 

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