Sonny and the Sunsets
San Francisco, CA
The Kinks, Beach Boys, Everly Brothers
Sonny and the Sunsets are creating a sound that aims for the middle ground between nostalgic surf-pop and lo-fi garage rock. Think Beach Boys meets The Kingsmen. It’s a common sound trend amongst many buzzed-up blog bands, however this San Francisco quartet have managed to produce an honest and witty sound that sets them apart from their contemporaries.
The leader singer and songwriter of the group Sonny Smith grew up in San Francisco before moving onto the rockier pastures of Gunninson Colorado. In Colorado he worked as a professional musician playing piano in local bars and clubs around town. After some time there he moved to Costa Rica, but eventually found his way back to Northern California. He began releasing solo records in early 2000 and started to make a name for himself – even touring with Neko Case.
However in 2007 he decided to change his approach and put his sound in front of an ensemble he dubbed Sonny and the Sunsets. The band’s debut was released on Soft Abuse in 2009 and has created quite a stir in the burgeoning San Francisco underground rock scene. Several SF all stars make guest appearances on the album, including Kelly Stoltz, Tim Cohen (of The Fresh and Only’s), and Heidi Alexander (of The Sandwitches). The songwriting balances on the Sonny’s humorous and creative lyrics, along with the catchy surf sounds of sugary guitar melodies. It’s a perfect summer record, so make sure you get acquainted with it as soon as you can.