Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by John Richards, host of The Morning Show on KEXP, is "Sunbeam" by Cumulus, from the 2022 album Something Brighter on Share It Music.
KEXP’s love and respect for Cumulus has been at least a decade in the making, spanning before the release of their 2013 debut I Never Meant to Be Like This. Back in 2018, our coverage of Cumulus’ sophomore record Comfort World was glowing and persistent, and for good reason. Alexandra Lockhart (née Niedzialkowski)’s ability to convey a wide range of introspective feelings while keeping every single song immensely catchy is a skill few have.
At long last, Cumulus is releasing their third record Something Brighter on October 21st via Share It Music. The name is an apt representation of the tone of the record because, despite being written and recorded during the darkness of the pandemic, Lockhart’s ability to find hope and light is stronger than ever.
A big catalyst for that lightness is the love Lockhart found with her now-husband and that comes out in our Song of the Day, “Sunbeam.” “When you’re next to me /It’s like I’m sleeping in a sunbeam,” coos Lockhart. “Oh, the way you love me /It gets into my bloodstream.” It’s *almost* too sweet and pure for those of us not currently in the throes of love but also conjures hope, just knowing that Lockhart and her husband have found that.
She told Atwood Magazine this about the song:
“’Sunbeam’ is probably the purest love song I have ever written, or at least it is the first time that I have written and released a song in the throes of love,” Lockhart tells Atwood Magazine. “Not looking back longingly, not heartbroken and missing something, just in it, appreciative, feeling wrapped in safety and reflecting on all the time I spent wondering if I’d ever find it. Finding your person is such a wild journey. I come from a family of divorce, and I think I built up some walls and codependent notions in my pursuits of young love as a result, and my journey with partnership wasn’t always healthy.”
“This is a song about the realization that when you do meet the right person, it’s not complicated. It’s easy. It’s not that it doesn’t take hard work, but it doesn’t feel like work. I also wrote this song in pandemic times, and wanted to write something to document how good this person makes me feel, how grateful I am to have them next to me.”
“Sunbeam” comes with a video directed by Sébastien Deramat, of Special Explosion and Seacats, in which Lockhart and her husband lock eyes amongst a horde of animal sculptures made of driftwood. Watch the video below.