The Florida five-piece are back with their sixth studio album, out this Friday via Rise Records.
Sunnyland was recorded with longtime producers Zack Odom and Kenneth Mount, and for the first time, also teamed with Grammy nominated producer John Feldmann (blink-182, Panic! At the Disco) and Howard Benson (Of Mice & Men, My Chemical Romance). The result is an album built on impassioned vocals, sing-along choruses, and deeply heartfelt lyrics.
The album’s title comes from an abandoned hospital where the band members hung out as teenagers. “The hospital shut down sometime in the mid-’80s but then it just stayed there for decades,” says Sanders. “It was a super-creepy place—it was overgrown with vines, and still had some of the hospital beds and IV stands—but we have all these good memories of hanging out there when we were younger.”
This follow-up to 2015’s Black Lines might not break the mould but it will sure turn out to be a fan favorite as it’s packed with tracks to love and cherish. They still know how to write killer hooks and pull heartstrings like no other. Songs like Looks Red, Tastes Blue or Never Sure very much highlight the former, while Take My Breath Away and Always Leaving will instantly make their way onto your love ballad playlist. But when it comes to ballads on this album, there’s nothing quite like Where You Are – its fragile tenderness and acoustic guitars lay beautifully around Sanders’ chilling vocals.
On the record, Mayday Parade also draw influence from their fellow pop-punk big hitters such as Fall Out Boy with the title of It’s Hard to be Religious (When Certain People are Never Incinerated by Bolts of Lightning) and its hints of Jamie All Over from the band’s iconic A Lesson In Romantics album.
Sunnyland will definitely take you on an emotional and musical rollercoaster ride as you go from the anthemic emo choruses of Is Nowhere to the soft and sweet Take My Breath Away. Whatever high or low you prefer, it’s undeniable that Derek Sanders’ vocals are at the core of what makes Mayday Parade such an emotional band, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
The record’s title track closes off the album with an acoustic-guitar-heavy ballad that frames nostalgic lyrics about youth and happy memories which are sure to have you reminisce and daydream, goosebumps included.
The album’s heart-gripping and melodic core shines a light on what Mayday Parade do best, and Sunnyland will without a doubt not only be a winner with their existing fans but will also win them a whole bunch of new ones.