Carried by vibrantly soulful vocals, set to the definition of a finger-snapping groove, and anchored by a lyrical call for harmony, John Bickel’s “Calling on Sunshine” is a stunning burst of perseverant joy.
The track begins with hummed vocals that evoke a gospel choir warm-up, with things called to order by a rhythm on the two and four beats delivered via a crisp drum kit. It’s all stage setting for the main event: an effervescent chorus that enters immediately, delivered by Bickel with soaring vocals.
“I’m calling on sunshine
For the only child of mine
This world of loving
Is coming to ya
Ask it one more time”
Bickel cites an eclectic range of retro influences, and many of them can be heard here; there are shades of Stevie Wonder’s soul and echoes of John Lennon’s energy. Sonically and lyrically, this is a trip straight to the mountaintop, and while Bickel is honest in reflecting on the step-by-step difficulty of the human experience, “Calling on Sunshine” never comes back down – it simply climbs into a groove and follows it home.
“The issues in the human condition need only light, clarity, truth and some honest communication to solve,” says Bickel. “I hoped to relay this message on a sailing groove.”
“Calling on Sunshine” is the first track released by John Bickel in 2022. It precedes a series of singles and a full album to be released later in the year.