I don’t know about you guys—but I’ve needed a little more twang in my life recently. With the hectic hustling and bustling of the northeast, I’ve yearned for some of that high-quality southern export: hit me with some dirty country.
Sonny and the Sunsets (lead by singer/songwriter Sonny Smith) released yet another fantastic album on Tuesday (6/26/12). The album (Longtime Companion) features 10 killer tracks, including my favorite, “Pretend You Love Me.”
The song features mismatched instrumentation, folky vocal tone, and country song structure—needless to say, it’s groovy as hell. Amongst the slew of anecdotal/biographical information about Sonny Smith is the fact that he spent some time in Central America—which definitely influences the instrumentation of his music.
The song starts off simple: guitar and vocals. The track builds naturally, gradually adding instruments and harmonies. The pedal steel makes an appearance early on (satisfying my twang cravings). But the song didn’t wow me—it didn’t stand out from the crowd.
And then, suddenly: pan flutes. Or at least, I think they’re pan flutes. Regardless of what they are, they sound great. They totally change the feel of the song from the lazy sorrow of the pedal steel to a jittery hope.
That’s the song in a nutshell: jumping back and forth between passive despair and energized possibility. The lyrics follow suit with the feel changes. It’s really pretty awesome.
So check out Sonny and the Sunsets: they’ve got enough twang to keep your country side satisfied, enough pan flutes to get you finger dancing, and enough chill vibes to make it easy listening. Be sure to look for Longtime Companion—released this past Tuesday!