Sun Kin, “After the House”
By Amaya Garcia · February 12, 2021

Los Angeles-based electronic music producer Kabir Kumar creates music that feels transient—always straddling multiple genres like bedroom pop, psychedelic folk, disco, and house, but never getting too comfortable with one label or the other. As Sun Kin, Kumar has spent more than a decade experimenting with instruments and genres, and distilling their personal experiences of constant migration into sound. On their fourth full-length, After the House, Kumar turns to the Middle Eastern and Indian pop of their youth, alongside house, disco, and R&B, and transforms it into four-on-the-floor dance anthems that also contain a sense of real intimacy and vulnerability.

The record begins with “We Build Tiny Houses for the Dead,” which introduces itself with dark techno rhythms and slippery, looping synths that turn playful as the track progresses, blooming into a groovy disco-and-funk palette. There’s a duality in Kumar’s approach to production, a darkness that eventually leads to the light, which comes to the fore on “Trying to Trust”: The undulating synths and early ‘90s house pianos underscore Sun Kin’s soft, emotional confessions about self-preservation and giving in to desire. There’s a weariness and worldliness to their voice that betrays the sometimes suave and sun-kissed rhythms throughout the album. With its vivid and intricate atmospheres, After the House feels like an album made up for midnight introspection, an invitation to cleanse your spirit under the glow of the neon lights.

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