The Ballroom Thieves revive the act of true connection with ‘Sundust’

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Recommended Tracks: “Snake Bite,” “Tender,” “Words”
Artists You Might Like: Watchhouse, Shovels & Rope, Wild Rivers

In a perfect world, everyone would be understanding. You showed up late because you got lost? Totally fine. You forgot to turn in an assignment because you mixed up the deadline? It happens! You’re nervous for a job interview? Who wouldn’t be!? If people could just take a moment to see where other people are coming from, why they act they way they do, then maybe there wouldn’t be so many issues or misunderstandings. These days, it seems easier to just move on than take a moment to care… In the hopes of reviving the act of true connection, The Ballroom Thieves have crafted Sundust, an expansive ten track project that highlights feelings of optimism, moments of pessimism, and everything in between. By doing so, they remind us that we are all human and we all have to preserve the qualities that make us whole.

Making our way through Sundust, we come across tracks that touch on optimistic thoughts and feelings. On “Time Just Falls Apart,” for instance, The Ballroom Thieves capture the indescribable splendor of being with someone you love. The lyrics are pure poetry, lines like, “So, kiss me / Like you wanted to for hours / Like our mouths were filled with flowers” and “There are many things I’ll never see / I’m so glad you’re not one of them,” giving us much to process. We also have “Casual,” which focuses on breaking away from a harmful cycle. There is both a lightness and heaviness to this track, the rich string work providing a stark contrast to the tender lyrics. Calin Peters, who makes up one half of The Ballroom Thieves, mentioned that “Casual” was about “correcting the way I was taught to see myself,” and we can feel how her journey through the pain was both sad and beautiful.

Offsetting these optimistic vibes are songs that deal with pessimistic moments. Infused with edgy guitar riffs, “Snake Bite” tackles the overwhelming frustration of finding your purpose. Over the guitar, Calin sings, “These roads took me different ways / My moon’s in a different phase” and “It’s all too much / All this pleasure, all this pain,” yearning for clarity. This call for clarity also arises in “Words,” where Martin Earley (the other half of The Ballroom Thieves) and Calin give us a melancholy contemplation on growing older. Despite the optimistic acoustic guitar riffs that repeat throughout the song, there is a blueness that brings the mood down. It hits you when given lines like, “Words come and go, like birds back and forth / You and I are getting older all the time” and “Flowers, they crescendo / Wilting in the window / Everything is dying all the time.” Pensively, they ask, “Is this love? / Is this what we’re all afraid of?” seeking answers. On “Boring Disaster,” they turn the tables and give us answers to questions we may not have known we had. There is a sense of urgency throughout, created by the galloping beat that accompanies Martin and Calin. We pick up fleeting thoughts in lines such as, “Don’t be naïve / Don’t fall in love with anything” and “I know the heart / Has its own entropy,” prompting us to stop and reflect on ourselves, our relationships.

In life, there are instances that are not outlined by pessimism or optimism. They just exist, and The Ballroom Thieves assure us that contemplating these instances is a necessary process. The opening track, “Everything Is Everything,” is folksy and sweet, inviting fans to behold the wonders around them. The Ballroom Thieves sing, “It’s a bittersweet awakening / That everything is everything,” the lack of specifics making it an endearing and thoughtful listen. The tone becomes more intimate on “Tender,” an acoustic-based track that ties together varying emotions and behaviors. Using vulnerable vocal lines that rise up and release out like a much-needed sigh, Calin and Martin ask, “Is it real, this feeling? / Did I believe it into being?” these questions providing comfort to those who might also have similar doubts and insecurities. As The Ballroom Thieves close out Sundust, they still present us with timeless questions and statements that round out the human experience. On “I Don’t Mind,” we hear, “I will be in your every breath or maybe not” and “I’ll be more perfect when I’m gone or maybe not,” showing that it is okay to go forward with uncertainty. They contrast these hushed verses with full and open choruses, where we hear, “What if the only time we have is now? / What if we never say these words out loud?” These dynamics lock in the fact that these words were meant to be heard, even if there is no closure to them.

All in all, Sundust is an opportunity to connect – with yourself, with others, with the places and things that matter most. When describing the album, The Ballroom Thieves mentioned, “It’s looking back to move forward. It’s finding the way back to yourself. The only way out is through.” Whether you feel like you’re pretty in tune with life or in need of more, Martin and Calin are right there with you. Their songs will help guide you if needed, look at something from a new perspective if desired. The Ballroom Thieves don’t pretend to have all the answers, which makes Sundust up to interpretation. In the end, Martin and Calin just want us all to find what makes us whole, which begins by pausing, observing, and taking it in – music and all.

You can listen to Sundust on platforms like Apple Music, SoundCloud, and Spotify.

Keep up with The Ballroom ThievesInstagram // X // Facebook // TikTok // YouTube // Website

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