Artist You Should Know: Sonny and the Sunsets

Written by

sonny and the sunsets

Editor’s Note:  Sonny and the Sunsets play at Spaceland TONIGHT!

By KCRW DJ Eric J Lawrence:

I can’t remember exactly how I learned about Sonny and the Sunsets, but it probably came about after poking around Kelley Stoltz’ MySpace page.

Kelley made two of my favorite albums of the past decade and  I was wondering what he was up to recently. I learned that he sometimes plays in a group called Sonny and the Sunsets so I poked around further and learned that the group was led by one Sonny Smith, a singer/songwriter whose solo stuff I’ve enjoyed and played on my radio show in the past.

Sonny and the Sunsets have a real relaxed, almost retro sound with a subtle edge to it – sort of what I imagine the Velvet Underground might have sounded like if Buddy Holly had lived to join them after Lou Reed left.

Sonny and the Sunsets – Too Young to Burn

The band is made up of other folks from the exploding San Francisco indie-rock scene — including members of The Fresh & Onlys and Citay — which only further endeared them to me.  They even have a 7” single released on a record label (Future Stress Records) run by a former KCRW volunteer!

Last week, the band signed to Fat Possum Records, who will reissue their full length album in August. I’ve already been spinning it, but I’m glad it will have wider distribution because it deserves it.

And to top it all off, they play Spaceland this Friday night, along with fellow SF-rockers Ty Segall and Moonhearts, as well as like-minded local band Wounded Lion, for a stellar quadruple bill I just can’t miss.  Just goes to show what a little poking around can do!

Eric J. Lawrence

p.s:  I also just learned Kelley Stoltz has a new album coming out on Sub Pop in October!!!