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Darren Sullivan and the Littoral Drift

Darren Sullivan is a pop-punky rockstar. On his latest album, Darren Sullivan and the Littoral Drift, he delivers an electrifying collection of songs that leaves scorched earth in its drift, and yet it’s consistently joyous. There’s nothing abrasive about the jubilant, tender, silky smooth singing on the opener, “Eliza.” It carries warmth, and is a deliciously infectious melody. But it glides atop a ferocious power chord progression on a distorted guitar. There’s so much energy and raw power to this tune. It’s great that Sullivan manages to maintain a bouncy, feel-good energy, no matter how raucous the instrumentation becomes. “California Poppies” is a different story. Tender and beautiful singing, but this time it floats atop an equally gentle acoustic melody. There’s some fantastic instrumentation on this track. I love the bass groove — it oozes with summery vibes. There’s such depth to it. And the gentle percussion is just the perfect addition to this chilled, laidback track. The same can be said of “A Larger Lad,”though Sullivan shows off his guitar-picking chops on this one. He really demonstrates his skill as a performer as well as a songwriter on this record. Impressive playing. He’s more than a good voice. The closing tune, “California,” lives up to its title. Sullivan closes out the album with a funky, powerful track that definitely brings the sunshine state to mind. Such vibrant, powerful drumming. Fantastic fills on display. And Sullivan’s jubilant vocals, with lyrics about California love and dreaming of some mysterious person’s “undertone,” are captivating. His vocals complement the punchy drums, and the twangy guitars are just the cherry on top of a feel-good summer track. This entire album is so varied and intoxicatingly fresh. Love it.

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