Sonya Hunter

Sonya Hunter

Sun In Mind


So I’m sitting there in the bar, nursing my third gimlet and minding my own business, when this huge aggro-dude comes up to me and sneers, “I’m a-gonna wipe the bar with you unless you can name one psychedelic folk-pop album released this year that doesn’t suck.”

I kept my cool, looked that specimen right in his beady bloodshot eyes, and whipped this CD out of my front pocket. “Hunter, huh?” he snorted. “I’m skeptical–ain’t she just another Bay Area softie?”

I popped the disc in the bar’s changer and cranked it up. The opening strains of “Aquamarine” started to fill the room. Guitars started to intertwine lustily around each other, the spare drumhits sounded like bossanova, and Hunter’s crystal voice filled everyone’s cup to overflowing: “Watching waves on the boardwalk with you / Sand in our clothes and a glorious shade of blue.” Foxy distorted electric riffage, walls of acoustic chordage. Mr. Angry sat down, a weird look in his eye. The room was Hunter’s.

The disc continued through 6/8 laments for sneaky maybe-lovers (“Sidewinder”), sexy haiku-like talking blues (“Bells And Whistles”), and songs that sounded like Aimee Mann fronting Fairport Convention (“Roots”). Hunter (who is ably seconded by multi-instrumental sidekick Erik Pearson) is a beautiful singer whose sly pointillist lyrics bounced off her pop-hook smarts and right into the very air we were trying to breathe. I remember feeling lucky — not to escape a beating, but that I had this CD to listen to for the rest of my life.

Hell, this record was so good that it even survived a Buffy Sainte-Marie cover. That’s when I knew I had him. As the gnarly one wept into his Singapore Sling, I went over to him and whispered, “As long as there’s a Sonya Hunter in this world, NEVER doubt that there is great psychedelic folk-pop in this vale of tears.” And I walked out.

I went back later to get my disc. That was forgetful of me.

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