“Hymns Forgot” by Party of the Sun: Bright, Thoughtful Indie Folk


Upbeat, sunny, and lush, this track is an essential add to your summer road trip playlist.  

Upon hitting play, “Hymns Forgot” draws you in with a smoothly descending riff that suddenly blends into an acoustic, rhythmic sound loop. The intro pulls at your attention, while the song’s optimistic tone and effortless flow throughout entices you to press repeat over and over again. One thing that struck me was its lack of distinction between the verses and chorus. This seamlessness is the very essence of the track, as its fluid motion ripples from beginning to end without breaking. 

I love that the track’s movement carries you – it doesn’t take any effort to melt into the song. Pockets of rougher riffs occasionally surface and dig at the listener, while serene acoustics flow until a cymbal abruptly concludes the track. Singer songwriter Ethan McBrien’s gentle and folky tone compliments the song’s laid back yet lush atmosphere. McBrien writes the band’s music in nature bound places, such as a remote New England sheep farm, and I feel like this directly translates into their sound. The song’s dense yet intricate instrumentals make me envision that it was composed before a flourishing, abundantly green backdrop. 

Sailing down 

Never would I have come 

To the land devotion lost

Giving power to a sun

The last line caught my attention, as I feel that light and radiance is captured in the track’s texture and tone. I think it’s interesting that we often think of solar power in terms of drawing energy and light from the sun, and yet McBrien writes about offering power in return. In this kind of symbiotic relationship, we have to appreciate and give power to the radiance that feeds us. The lyrics are poetic fragments of a story – one that is not captured in full focus. I think there are many ways you could interpret the song’s meaning. That is the magic of songwriting – when an artist offers their own pieces, and you get to arrange them in a way that allows you to make sense of your own world. For me, the imagery of sunlight has an uplifting tone and captures a feeling of alignment, especially as the brighter months approach us. 

I think that this track would be best enjoyed on a desert highway, as its steadiness suits the flow of driving and roaming around in a vast open space. Whether on the road or in the more lengthy venture of life, it captures the feeling of floating in transitional periods between one place and the next destination. Lyrical allusions to sailing and arriving on land makes you feel as if you’re wandering alongside him, while moving through your own journey. 

I adore all facets of this track – the lovely acoustics, folky tone, and an effortlessness that is easy on the ears. I’m looking forward to seeing where Party of The Sun transports us next. 


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