After multiple spins of “Seven Seasons,” the debut album from San Francisco five-piece Hidden in the Sun, I can honestly say that the first quarter of the 12-track, 67-minute release just doesn’t work for me. Had I given up on the Lizzie Clapper-fronted outfit after hearing the title track, “My Magdeline” and “Three Flavors of Five,” I’m guessing the album would have earned a two-star review.
But something surprising starts to take place during fourth track “Waiting on the Storm.” To me, at least, it seems like Hidden in the Sun hit their stride and the rest of “Seven Seasons” is really, really good. Set highlight “San Francisco Blues” is flat-out fantastic, and Clapper, Sean Alexander (guitar), Ciara McAllister (keyboards), Scott Rouse (drums) and Jason Vivrette (bass) also score with “Coat of Armour,” “Smoke Signals” and seven-minute closer “Lexicon.”
With five songwriters contributing to the mix, Hidden in the Sun’s sound is predictably eclectic with elements of rock, blues, roots and ambient electronic melodies. “It can be tricky to maneuver, but it’s awesome to be able to bounce ideas off of so many talented folks,” McCallister says. I can’t argue with that. (Jeffrey Sisk)