Sonny & The Sunsets

Sonny & The Sunsets

Sonny & The Sunsets

Tomorrow Is Alright

Fat Possum

It’s an open road, in the middle of America. A beat up camper, or maybe a VW bus, hurtles past the trees and corn fields housing a band that has no use for modern concepts like cell phones, iPods, or Facebook. They listen to The Velvet Underground, The Beach Boys, Leonard Cohen, or Simon & Garfunkel — depending on who’s got control of the cassette deck.

At least that’s how I’d like to imagine Sonny & The Sunsets.

The debut album of this California quartet sounds refreshingly not of this era. Sure, you can hear a bit of The Avett Brothers or Jenny Lewis caught up in the air that surrounds this collection of lazy day beach songs, but I choose not to dwell on those comparisons. I’d like to imagine that Tomorrow Is Alright is a newly unearthed gem that I just dug out of my parent’s old box of records.

Sung in a lighter Lou Reed matter-of-fact manner, Sonny Smith proves capable of sunny pop (“Too Young to Burn,” “Chapters”), beautifully morose sentiments (“Death Cream”), playful duets (“Planet of Women”), Americana tunes that would not have sounded out of place being sung by Johnny Cash (“Stranded”), and songs that manage to overlap just about all of those elements into one (“Bad Vibes & Evil Thoughts”) without sounding disjointed.

On a whole, the album sounds like the last day of summer and all of the complicated emotions that come along with it.

Sonny & The Sunsets: www.sonnysmith.com

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