It is summertime and the livin’s easy. Sunshine Stride is the name of Curtis Macdonald’s new release – and it is irresistible! Even when you find yourself inside a cold, windowless room, the single will take you on a fantastic imaginary sunshine stride. Indeed, this piece has the potential to become something as rare as a genuine New Age music summer hit! Sunshine Stride is as refreshing as a cold beverage on a hot summer’s day.
Curtis Macdonald is a graduate composer from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California and has 26 albums in release. In 2013, Curtis Macdonald received Grammy consideration for Best Instrumental Pop Record for the CMMP release When Dreams Come True, and in 2007 received Grammy consideration for Best New Age Record for the EverSound release Everlasting as well as placing in the New Age Reporter Top 100 Recordings. His most recent album is Waiting For An Ordinary Spring (2020).
As indicated by the title, Sunshine Stride is a light and bubbly piece. Initially, we hear delicate synth keys and an arp-like pluck in background. Suddenly a gentle yet fast rhythm and bass join in. It all lay the foundation for the piano, which is introduced a little before the 50 seconds mark. The main theme is quite short, but it is everything that it has to be; Sunny and laid-back. And as with every interesting theme in music history, it takes the track into a higher and more interesting territory. If you listen carefully you’ll even hear a light melancholy around 2 minutes or so. One word: Bravo!
Sunshine Stride is not just a great melody. It is a track where the sound design aspects are front and center. It makes the listener pay attention, wondering how the melody will develop. The frequent and well-placed stops further intensity that part of the listening experience. Try to put Sunshine Stride on replay. Notice how beautifully the end fades into the beginning, creating a never-ending stroll along the beachfront.
How about that cover artwork! The giant smiling sun is both fun and a way to underline that this track is not to be taken too seriously.
In conclusion: “In summer, the song sings itself,” William Carlos Williams said. That is not true when it comes to New Age music though. There are, of course, summer themed material in our genre, but its atmosphere is usually a better fit for fall and winter themed music. But then Curtis Macdonald comes along (or perhaps strides along) and shows how it can be done. It is a feel-good track in every sense of the word.
I have always been impressed with Curtis Macdonald’s melodic talent. It is the well-crafted melody that makes Sunshine Stride so special. As with any great summer song, there is plenty of remix potential too. When listening I found myself imagining how a tropical house or EDM version of this inspired track would sound like. Its coolness and dynamic flow makes it ideal for studio tinkering. A lyric layer would write itself. That said, Sunshine Stride is perfect in its own right too.
I can say with 100% certainty that your New Age music playlist is in need of some proper heat. It is time for a Sunshine Stride!
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