Sonny and the Sunsets Tomorrow Is Alright

Sonny and the Sunsets Tomorrow Is Alright
Originally released last year by Soft Abuse, but completely overlooked by far too many, Fat Possum has given new life to Tomorrow Is Alright, the debut album by San Francisco, CA's Sonny Smith and his Sunsets. Aside from being the bandleader and songwriter, Smith is also a world traveller, artist, playwright and caregiver to the disabled who released a string of solo albums over the last few years. The Sunsets are an even more accomplished crew, featuring Sub Pop's Kelley Stoltz, Tim Cohen and Shayde Sartin of the Fresh & Onlys, and Tahlia Harbour of Citay. Partially recorded in Smith's camper, Tomorrow Is Alright eschews any sense of modernity, from recording on a '70s 388 Tascam to the band's sound: a bare bones, West Coast style that recalls everything from the Everly Brothers' idyllic rock'n'roll to Jonathan Richman's witty narratives and languid delivery. Devoid of frills, the Sunsets maximize this minimalist approach with sandpapery production and arrangements that wander between doo-wop, garage and early rock'n'roll. It's retro, but not in the sense we've become accustomed to with most revivalist bands over the last decade. Ultimately, it's Smith's informal intonation, subtle hooks and droll commentary that turn these rough edged songs into gleaming pop jewels. (Fat Possum)