Originally hailing from South Lake Tahoe, pop singer-songwriter and classically-trained trombonist Sean Pawling made the move to Southern California where he subsequently released his debut EP, “Inner Child,” in 2011. This was followed by his first LP, “Eye for an Eiger,” in 2014, which continued his work in conveying the gritty environments of his adopted hometown of Los Angeles from within a collection of buoyant pop melodies and flexible brass arrangements.
With the forthcoming release of his sophomore record, “Sunsinking,” he’s looking to focus in on the ebullient rhythms and insightful lyricism which has become so associated with his music. Bringing together influences from artists such as Belle & Sebastian, Jason Mraz and Cake, he has created a pop sound that is both playful and introspective, touching on both social and personal turmoil and struggle. “Sunsinking” is set to be released on Jan. 25.
On his new single, “Rio Grande,” Pawling examines the trials and tribulations of a migrant from El Salvador trying to find a better life by coming to the United States. Held aloft by his usual assemblage of lively brass, guitar and shuffled percussion, the track reveals the earnest intentions of those looking to improve their circumstances. Hints of the psych-pop fervor of bands like Olivia Tremor Control and The Apples in Stereo also shine through, creating a deceptively cheerful atmosphere in which Pawling recounts how this person is put behind bars but still yearns for that freedom which is so very close.