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Music / Sunny Day Real Estate

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An incredibly influential Emo band from Seattle, Washington. Sunny Day Real Estate was formed in 1992 by guitarist Dan Hoerner and bassist Nate Mendel, who were shortly after joined by drummer William Goldsmith, at the time, the band was known as "Empty Set". Two name changes and a self released single later (that would sound completely different from the sound most associated with the band in the future), rhythm guitarist Jeremy Enigk joined the band, and eventually took Hoerner's place as the lead vocalist. In 1994, the band released their debut album Diary on Sub Pop Records to much critical acclaim, what followed was a tour that established the band's reputation as a rather enigmatic group that would rarely grant interviews and would refuse to play shows for unexplained reasons.

After touring their debut, the band got back into the studio to record their sophomore effort. It was around this time that Enigk became a born again Christian. The brief sessions for the album were incredibly tense, and in early 1995, the group disbanded. Some fans believe that Enigk's newfound Christianity played a roll in the dissolution of the band, although Enigk and the rest of the band deny this. In November of that year, Sub Pop would release the bands second album, titled simply ''Sunny Day Real Estate'', referred to fans of the band as either "LP2" or "The Pink Album". Following the breakup, Enigk pursued a solo carer, Hoerner moved out to a farm in rural Washington, and the rhythm section of the band went on to join Dave Grohl's band (though Goldsmith eventually left as Dave Grohl got dissatisfied with his drumming).

In 1997, Sub Pop approached Eingk and Hoerner about the possibility of releasing a "rarities" compilation of the band's material. The band decided to regroup, and record a few songs. From their, the band, minus Mendel, decided to reform and record a new album. The third release from the band, titled How It Feels To Be Something On featured the group a more polished and restrained sound. Following the release of a Live Album, the band left Sub Pop and decided to look for a new label. After a long, tumultuous period of looking to get signed, indie label Time Bomb Recordings decided to sign the band. In 2000, the band released The Rising Tide, and prepared to embark on a tour in Europe. However, on the eve of the tour, the label pulled funding, as it had fallen into bankruptcy. Embittered by the experience, the band decided to break up again. Hoerner resumed his life on the farm, while Enigk and Goldsmith formed a band called "The Fire Theft".

In 2009, the band has reunited with the lineup that recorded Diary in order to play several live shows and tour. Currently, however, the band remains inactive according to Mendel. Their sole release post-The Rising Tide was the song "Lipton Witch", recorded during failed attempts to record a fifth album some time after their reunion tour in 2009, contributed to a split 7" vinyl with post-hardcore band Circa Survive released for Record Store Day 2014.


Sunny Day Real Estate incorporate the following tropes:

  • Angst: to a T.
  • Careful with That Axe: Enigk, especially on Diary.
  • Emo: Among the forefathers of the genre, and arguably the quintessential band of the genre's second wave.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Listen to Flatland Spider, the band's first single, released before Enigk had joined the band with Hoerner on vocals. You'd be mistaken for thinking you'd accidentally loaded up a Therapy? or Soundgarden track.
  • Epic Rocking: "Song About An Angel" which clocks in at a little over six minutes. Same with "Faces in Disguise" from The Rising Tide.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: "Grendel", which mainly consists of whispered lyrics drowned out in the instrumentals.
  • New Sound Album: The quieter and more baroque and Progressive Rock-influenced sound of How It Feels to Be Something On is a fairly sharp turn away from the rawer, angrier sound of the preceding 2 albums. The Rising Tide also features the group adopt some distinctly eastern influences.
    • While not albums, this also applies to the vast difference in sound from their first release, the "Flatland Spider" 7", and their next 7" release, "Thief, Steal me a Peach", owing to the addition of Enigk to the band.
  • Perishing Alt-Rock Voice: Enigk.
  • Textless Album Cover: Diary and How It Feels to Be Something On
  • Stop and Go: "Seven" does this, during the verses- the main riff plays during each line of the lyrics, then stops for a moment. This repeats until the chorus.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Enigk's lyrics were usually very abstract, and tended to favor a stream of disjointed, evocative words, rather than a specific subject matter. However, the lyrics eventually got more straight forward during the band's last two albums.