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Come Back to Us


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Audio CD, July 26, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

When Rogue Wave's Zach Rogue boarded a plane for Bloomington, Indiana in the summer of 2010, he wasn't even sure he should be going. Following years on the road with his band, Rogue Wave, Rogue was itching to do something different, but wasn't sure what. On a whim, he booked time at a studio called Russian Recording, run by his friend Mike Bridavsky in Bloomington, and bought himself a plane ticket. Bringing a couple acoustic guitars with him, as well as the fragments of a few not-anywhere-near-finished songs, Rogue knew he was moving forward without any real sense of what he was moving forward towards.

The result of these sessions turned out to be some of the most remarkable music Rogue has made to date. He titled the project Release The Sunbird, and will be releasing his first album under that moniker - entitled Come Back to Us - on Brushfire Records on July 26th, 2011.

Release The Sunbird is a side project, but it's not. Release The Sunbird is a solo project, but it's not. Slapping a label on it to make it easy to categorize is tempting, but is ultimately doing a disservice to the incredible record Rogue has made. Come Back to Us is glowing from the inside out, the edges of the songs blurring in hazy focus, lifted by beautiful harmonies, meditative phrase repetition and lilting melodies. These songs are not the sort of cast-off melancholia or ambient electronic experiments in which other artists indulge when they've escaped from their band for a moment. Come Back to Us is sun-kissed, joyful and simply one of the most lovely albums you will hear this year.

But let's take it a step back for a second - the time leading up to Rogue's trip to Bloomington had helped to establish him as one of independent music's most reliable musical voices. His records with his band Rogue Wave were critically acclaimed, allowing them to tour with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, Jack Johnson, Spoon, Nada Surf, The Shins and more. Their albums - two of which were released on Sub Pop, two of which was released on Jack Johnson's very own Brushfire Records - saw their songs scattered across the film and television worlds, appearing in Napoleon Dynamite, Heroes, Weeds, Nip/Tuck and more. Following a lengthy touring cycle for Rogue Wave's most recent album, Permalight, Rogue simply wasn't sure where he wanted to go next, until he decided Bloomington would be it with no plan, not very many songs and a great deal of hope.

The sense of possibility that accompanied Rogue into the recording process is evident on Come Back to Us, the recording of which ultimately became a community effort amongst the many musicians in Bloomington, IN. Drummer Pete Shreiner, bassist/vocalist Kenny Childers and vocalist Kate Long helped to bring out new sides of Rogue as a songwriter and vocalist, infusing his voice with a familiar intimacy. With lyrics that explore the vagaries of love, loss, memory, and the deceptive simplicity of hope, Rogue's new songs are presented with an essential quality, as if every captured sound is ultimately serving the song. Sometimes these sounds are string squeaks, bent notes, or a breath here and there, and often it is the sound of the room itself, a space full of friends playing together. Whether bolstered by warm organ hums on opener "It's All Around You" or lingering in the sparse spaces of "A New You," whether simmering in the tension of "Paper Allies" or the delicate lightness of "Always Like the Son," Come Back to Us is a re-introduction to an artist whose musical voice you thought you already knew.

In the tradition of artists like Lee Hazelwood, Emitt Rhodes, Levon Helm and more, Rogue has made a record that's engaging for its fluidity and openness. This might be the best kind of musical departure a successful songwriter can hope for: a new showcase for talents he might not have known he had in the first place.


1. It's All Around You
2. Come Back To Us
3. Always Like The Son
4. No Light
5. Why Can't You Look At Yourself
6. Best Thing For Me
7. A New You
8. Back Strikes Back
9. Paper Allies
10. Running Away From Me
11. Everytime You Go
12. We'll Begin Tomorrow
13. Outlook's Anonymous

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 26, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Republic
  • ASIN: B00545KZKQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,726 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ConnectTheDots on December 8, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
I love this album. it's subtle movements and it's unassuming songs really snuck up on me and won me over. I've loved Rogue Wave though they are getting a little TOO polished in my opinion, this is a nice break from the over done. It harkens back to the first Rogue Wave album "Out of the Shadow," where not everything was perfect, but that is where the warmth and charm of the songs come in. This has the same quality to me. I was fortunate to catch the band in both Madison, WI and Chicago this summer and their live show is as beautiful and gorgeous as the songs on this record. Spin, "Always Like the Son," "Come Back to Us," and "Outlook's Anonymous" for starters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Justin Pruitt on January 11, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I really don't understand why he didn't release these songs under "Rogue Wave", as myself, there must be hundreds or thousands of rogue wave fans who didn't find out about this immediately. The songs here are as strong as hell in comparison to any Rogue Wave song and don't differ in style. Except he chose to undercut himself by releasing this under a new and unknown band name causing this album to receive very little attention. Well, sorry for getting a little emotional, in the end I'm very glad he makes such pleasant, reliable pop/rock. Another more than solid effort from Zach.
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By SLS on August 3, 2013
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I was introduced to this band/guy by a friend. Boy, am I glad I was! Run to buy this on (lp) if you can. It is a most enjoyable record, start to finish. The sonics are among the best you can get these days! Oh yeh, the music is good too!

Another positive note, the process of fileing this lp into your lp library is made easier by the fact that Rogue is very close to 'Release'. Get it?

A hidden gem!
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By Amazon Customer on May 16, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
You can listen to the album straight through... which unfortunately is rare these days. Great album, great voices, great harmonies and lyrics.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can't keep this cd out of my player for too long. Start to finish the songs are gorgeous with beautiful boy/girl harmonies and a bare stripped down sound. I agree that some of the songs lack polish or seemed slightly unfinished but that is really a large part of the charm of this record. The melodies may be "sun kissed" but there is an undertone of deeper emotions on every track.
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