Rubblebucket have long been an odd but accessible, or just oddly accessible, act. Their dance moves are catchy, yet they’re weird like a ska band (they do have a horn section). They’ve eschewed the easy catch for the deeper cut. Sun Machine shows them in all their glory.
Written after the romantic break-up of main members Kalmia Traver and Alex Toth, Sun Machine still manages to be both smooth and cheery, without just being another lightweight dance record. Pieces like “Donna” and the cool “Lemonade” get the toes tapping, but even “Party Like Your Heart Hurts” and “Inner Cry” are great party-dance that aren’t just party-dance. There are also lower-key moments on the album, such as “Sunlit Sparks (I Won’t Break You)”, though the release didn’t need the interstitial ‘sounding high’ spoken recordings “AURATALK”, “VANTALK”, and “HURTTALK” (which are fine on first listen, but wear out quickly on repeated spins).
In a certain world, maybe a more just world, Rubblebucket would be a big dance-pop act with the kids & more. But that’s not what they’re shooting for.