Label: Deathwish Inc.
Release Date: June 11 2013
CD / VINYL / DIGITAL / iTunes
All songs written and composed by Deafheaven
Kerry McCoy - Guitars
George Clarke - Vocals
Daniel Tracy - Percussion
Recorded and Engineered by : Jack Shirley
Artwork by Nick Steinhardt
Management by Cathy Pellow of Sargent House
Deafheaven began writing new material for a follow-up to its April 2011 debut album Roads to Judah by September 2011. At the time, the new material was originally described as being "faster, darker, a lot heavier and far more experimental" than Roads to Judah, but as the new songs developed over time, vocalist George Clarke clarified that some of the material was darker and more aggressive, while other parts were far brighter, more melodic and pop-influenced. Clarke said the goal of Sunbather was to expand Deafheaven's sound and express a "full spectrum of emotion." There were a few changes to the band that allowed Sunbather to develop and progress from Roads to Judah. There was a longer gap between releases than before, which allowed more time for the members to grow as musicians. Deafheaven also went through a major lineup change. The lineup that was established before Roads to Judah dissolved due to Deafheaven's rigorous touring schedule, little payout and the founding members' (Clarke and guitarist Kerry McCoy) strong work ethic. As a result, Sunbather was composed primarily by Clarke and McCoy, similar to how Deafheaven's untitled demo was written. Daniel Tracy joined the band on drums toward the end of the writing process, about which Clarke commented: "his drum contributions are huge—he also helped shape the record for sure."
The band entered Jack Shirley's Atomic Garden studio in East Palo Alto, California in January 2013 and recorded Sunbather in five days. Deafheaven had worked with Shirley on all previous releases to date (Deafheaven's demo, Roads to Judahand Deafheaven / Bosse-de-Nage). Clarke appreciates different styles of production was originally open to hiring a different producer, but ultimately the group chose to work with Shirley again because they were already comfortable with him. On Shirley's performance as producer, Clarke said, "for this record, he definitely took on the role of producer much more than our previous efforts, which was awesome. It honestly felt like we accomplished this together and it felt great." When the band recorded Roads to Judah, the members didn't make production part of their main focus. As a result, Clarke and McCoy wanted Sunbather to sound "bigger and slicker" than previous releases. Deafheaven employed a number of studio techniques to achieve the desired sound for the album. McCoy tracked four guitar layers for most songs, two for both lead and rhythm guitars; the guitar parts incorporated a lot of whammy bar use to create a "dizzying effect" inspired by My Bloody Valentine's "glide guitar" technique; the vocal tracks were given echo chamber, reverberation treatment during the mixing process; uptempo drum parts were recorded with closer microphones while "spacier sections" were recorded with ribbon microphones; and Sunbather was recorded on two-inch analog tape.On June 11, 2013 Deathwish released Deafheaven's second full length entitled "Sunbather". Joining Clarke and McCoy would be their new drummer and band member, Daniel Tracy. Sunbather was recorded and engineered by Jack Shirley at Atomic Gardens with the album package designed by long time friend Nick Steinhardt.
2013-2014 has seen Deafheaven as a headlining band who have toured US, Europe. Asia and Australia with their strongest line up to date, made up of George Clarke on vocals, Kerry McCoy lead guitar, Daniel Tracy on drums, Shiv Mehra on guitar and Stephen Lee Clarke on Bass.