sonny smith Rod for Your Love (140g vinyl LP, £21.50)
Sonny Smith, of Sonny And The Sunsets, releases his tenth studio album via Dan Auerbach's label, Easy Eye Sound. The record, produced by Black Keys front man Dan Auerbach at his Nashville studio, roots itself in old-school, guitar-driven rock & roll, and is equally built for the garage and the dance floor, with big-hearted melodies and thick harmonies. "I think a lot of albums are made in reaction to the one that came directly before," says Smith, whose earlier recordings were released by labels like Fat Possum and Polyvinyl. "By the time we got to Nashville and began working with Dan, I was thinking 'let's just make a fun, guitar-driven record. I don't want to have any extracurricular stuff here. I just want it to be really pure.’” The album’s first single is ‘Pictures of You’. Rod For Your Love was recorded at the end of a cross-country tour, and features Smith and his band firing on all cylinders, their rough edges sanded down by weeks of nightly shows. Hearing that The Arcs, Auerbach's side-project, had covered one of his own songs during their own tour, Smith reached out to the Black Keys singer. From there studio time was booked, and when Smith wound up finishing his countrywide tour in Nashville, he and his road band tracked the album at Auerbach's studio. The result is a deeply personal album, filled with heart-of-sleeve songwriting, which shines a light on the songs and the band, without many overdubs or assorted clutter. With songs that spin stories about loving, losing, and living in the modern world, it's hard not to identify with songs like the title track – a sunny, simple declaration of Smith's affection for a girl – and ‘Pictures of You’, which find him remembering a former flame by sifting through old photographs. On ‘Burnin' Up’, he swaps harmonies with songwriter Angel Olsen, turning the love song into a conversation between partners. The goal with Smith’s latest was an album that felt both fresh and familiar at once, which nods to the past while still moving forward. With the release of Rod For Your Love Sonny Smith accomplishes just that. For years, Sonny Smith has built his own brand of indie-folk and rock & roll, growing into a cult favourite along the way. To those who know his work, he's an incredibly prolific creator, with a dozen albums to his name and a handful of related projects – including multiple stage plays and his nationally-recognised art installation, "100 Bands" – under his belt. A longtime fixture of San Francisco's arts scene, he's managed to fly just beneath the mainstream's radar for decades, while still releasing a string of acclaimed records with labels like Fat Possum and Polyvinyl. Tracklisting 1. Pictures of You 2. Lost 3. Adventures 4. Slaves 5. Live, Love and Be Free 6. Rod for Your Love 7. Burnin' Up 8. Refugees 9. More Bad Times 10. Bores Me to Tears. Heavyweight high-performance vinyl, with download card and insert.
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