When you sign up for a ride with Sonny Smith, whether as a reader of his literary efforts or as a listener to his music, you aren't signing up for a conventional commuter run. But you know that going in, so you settle in and enjoy the experience. And then there is the title to the new album from Sonny and the Sunsets -- Antenna to the Afterworld. No, not likely to be a normal journey.
And Sonny doesn't dash expectations. Reportedly inspired by the murder of a friend and a contact with another deceased individual through a psychic, the album doesn't tread the indie path of love/lost love/looking for love/isolation. But in addition to providing a glimpse into Sonny's inward journey on the topics at hand, it presents a very compelling collection of songs: Thematically intriguing and musically entertaining. And not to sound shallow, the latter half draws me in the most. I love the melodies, the varied vocal presentations and, most of all, the sound of the guitars. This album works for me in the morning, late at night and all times in between. We have already presented tracks "Dark Corners" and "Palmreader" (link here), so the clips streams here will be for less heralded tracks that I find equally as delightful. For me the songs have a '60s garage rock feel, but with some twists and turns that serve to update them and make them uniquely a Sonny and the Sunsets album. There will be some surf riffs ("Void"), an affair with an alien ("Green Blood"), doo wop vocals ("Path of Orbit"), stranded alien dogs ("Dark Corners"), a scary woman ("Mutilator") and homeless girls ("Girl on the Street"). This is the kind of album that becomes an old friend in a short time.
In addition to Sonny Smith, Sonny and the Sunsets is Tahlia Harbour, Kelly Stoltz, and Ryan Browne. Antenna to the Afterworld is out today on Polyvinyl Records.
Here are the current tour dates:
06/11 San Francisco, CA – The Eagle
06/13 Hamden, CT – The Outer Space *
06/14 Brooklyn, NY – Knitting Factory / Northside Fest
06/15 New York, NY – Cake Shop #
06/16 Pittsburgh, PA – The Smiling Moose *
06/17 Lakewood, OH – Mahalls 20 Lanes *
06/19 Indianapolis, IN – Radio Radio *
06/20 Detroit, MI – The Lager House *
06/21 Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen *
06/22 Iowa City, IA – The Englert Theater
07/12 Oaktown, CA – New Parish
07/13 Sacramento, CA – 2nd Saturday Art Walk
07/24 Visalia, CA – Howie & Sons Pizza
07/25 San Diego, CA – Casbah
07/26 Costa Mesa, CA – Detroit Bar