“Apocalypse Whenever:” Bad Suns’ latest heartbreak album

The indie-rock band returns with a fourth LP filled with empowering anthems

PHOTO COURTESY/ Youtube Bad Suns

PHOTO COURTESY/ Youtube Bad Suns

Since their debut in 2012, California band Bad Suns has been producing catchy, alternative tracks for every first kiss, love and heartbreak. In anticipation of their ongoing headliner tour, the group released their fourth studio album “Apocalypse Whenever” on Jan. 28, 2022, evolving from their previous rock-beat cadences.

Perhaps most known by their 2014 single “Cardiac Arrest,” which became an instant hit within the indie music scene, Bad Suns has come a long way since the days of their first LP “Language and Perspective.” I first heard them perform as the opening act for The Neighbourhood’s “The Flood” tour in 2015, and needless to say, I walked out still humming to the opener’s electrifying setlist. Since then, the band has headlined three tours and has steadily grown a passionate and loyal fanbase.

“Apocalypse Whenever” differs from previous albums stylistically as it merges the band’s indie roots with refreshing pop synth tracks, creating a contemporary sound that still undeniably rides the Bad Suns beachy wave. While the changes are noticeable in comparison to their earlier music, it is vital for artists to diversify their brand if they want to expand the audience they reach. Bad Suns accomplishes this necessary shift without sacrificing what has made their music thrive in the constantly changing alt-rock world, a milestone for every up-and-coming indie band to mirror if they want to reach more ears.

What has remained consistent in this fourth LP is the theme of heartbreak accompanied by an upbeat backdrop. Lead singer Christo Bowman belts lyrics that exuberate self-love and growth following a devastating breakup, looking optimistically toward the future. In “Baby Blue Shades,” he sings confidently of his decision to leave the relationship that has been holding him back, serenading himself more than a former lover, “You hope that the old me / Might show up, he’s not coming back / I’m not coming back.” These positive lyrics encourage listeners, even outside of the relationship context, to trust themselves in the process of making a life-altering decision. 

Toward the conclusion of the album, Bad Suns leaves their fans with an important reminder— even after the pain and torment involved in breaking up with someone you may still care for, you will find love once again. “Apocalypse Whenever” takes the listener through a rollercoaster of emotions that those familiar with heartbreak will certainly understand. 

Bowman’s musicality ensures that fans aren’t left to wallow in their own despair, though, as the last two songs, “Grace (I Think I’m In Love Again)” and “Symphony of Lights,” cushion the listener with newfound hope. The album ends with a neatly tied bow as Bowman sings in “Grace,” “Make my heart beat / In the backseat of your car / I think I’m in love again,” which has some critics like Steve Beebee of Kerang calling it “so sweet it could actually make you a little bit ill.” While Bad Suns’ new pop sound might not resonate with every fan, especially those who have been following them since the beginning, the alternative band can still say they have remained true to their post-heartbreak mantra—a much-needed message that remains timeless through every stage of love and loss.

“Apocalypse Whenever” is available on all music streaming platforms.