MusicRecord Reviews


Mild, manageable dyslexia led me to believe the band to be named for that Sultan of the Ottoman Empire generally described as “magnificent.” Best I can tell (Google) the word Sumilan is pronounced sue-mah-lahn and means nothing.

Combining the most harmless and approachable jazz, adult contemporary and metal(ish) influences, the local quintet specializes in a unique brand of easy listening. Sumilan has obviously decided on hypnosis as a means of making said brand a household name. The album opens with 25 seconds of subliminal message-conducting quivering ambience called “Prokaryote,†named for free-floating nucleus-free organisms more fascinating than this track, to be sure. The dreamy vibe seamlessly sequences into curiously titled “Search Party,†where monotonous steady tension builds, then, the only lyrics: “Never found a way/ Never found a way from home,†are repeated until a decidedly rock and roll flourish puts an end to wondering: “Why the search party if you never left the house?â€Â Trippy.

Album centerpiece “Shishka†best places the band’s shape-shifting prowess (or weakness, depending upon your tolerance for abrupt genre change within a song) on display, but the once again hypnotic delivery of “How Now Does It Feel†makes it the most compelling listen on Natural Selection—like a Bon Iver meets Lotus mash-up kept simple, made clean and repeatedly listenable.