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Sonny & The Sunsets - Moods Baby Moods

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Moods Baby Moods

Sonny & The Sunsets

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Always eclectic but dependable in quality, the primarily guitar-based Sonny & the Sunsets have taken on country music, aliens, early rock & roll, psychic contact, garage rock, and screenplay inspirations, among other varied styles and subjects, even flirting with synths on their two prior albums. For their sixth long-player, Sonny Smith and gang enlisted tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus to produce, and look to '80s new wave and funk for sonic inspiration. Under threat of bleeping keyboards and drum machines, fans needn't worry that the band has shed their characteristically loose and lo-fi sensibility. However, as is unusually the case on a Garbus project, things get weird (weirder) and more vibrant on Moods Baby Moods. Even those expecting the unexpected will likely be surprised by the exploding, distorted percussion in the opener "Death Cream II" and the funky disco of "Moods," though all of the above are details rather than redefinition. A song like "Modern Age" incorporates nettling synths alongside guitars, grooving bass, bongos, spoken word samples, shifting tempos, strings, and drum loops, retaining a handmade-with-love feel while incorporating more mechanical tools. Elsewhere, the garage-y, sci-fi-evoking "Reject of the Lowest Planet" ("Reject of the lowest kind/Reject, won't you please be mine?") keeps elements of the '60s in the mix. Less typical for the Sunsets, press materials mention Tom Tom Club among the album's influences, and that band's presence is unmistakable on "Well But Strangely Hung Man," a quirky, new wave funk-rap. Also sporting an '80s facade, "White Cops on Trial" takes on the day's headlines with catchy dance-rock and ultra-wry lyrics ("What will the jury say?/We have found him not guilty 'cause we are insane/Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, we are crazy"). Altogether infectious and loaded with robust basslines, the result of the collaboration is slightly restrained for Garbus and ornate for Smith, finding a savory middle ground that, though not without its more reflective moments and plenty of angst, consistently merits smiles and moving feet.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo

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Moods Baby Moods

Sonny & The Sunsets

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1
Death Cream part 2 "Watch Out for the Cream"
00:02:22

Sonny Smith, Guitar, Vocals - Sonny & The Sunsets, MainArtist - Delaney Mason Smith, Composer - Glen Donaldson, Drums - Shayde Sartin, Bass Guitar - Glenn David Donaldson, Composer - Shayde Hamilton Sartin, Composer

2016 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2016 Polyvinyl Record Co.

2
Moods
00:03:35

Sonny Smith, Guitar, Vocals - Merrill Garbus, Instruments - Sonny & The Sunsets, MainArtist - Rusty Miller, Instruments - Delaney Mason Smith, Composer - Glen Donaldson, Synthesizer - Shayde Sartin, Bass Guitar - Hannah Lew, Instruments

2016 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2016 Polyvinyl Record Co.

3
Modern Age
00:05:19

Sonny Smith, Guitar, Vocals - Sonny & The Sunsets, MainArtist - Delaney Mason Smith, Composer - Glen Donaldson, Drums - Shayde Sartin, Bass Guitar - Tahlia Harbour, Instruments

2016 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2016 Polyvinyl Record Co.

4
Well But Strangely Hung Man
00:04:17

Sonny Smith, Guitar, Vocals - Sonny & The Sunsets, MainArtist - Delaney Mason Smith, Composer - Glen Donaldson, Drums - Shayde Sartin, Bass Guitar - Hannah Lew, Instruments - Tahlia Harbour, Instruments

2016 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2016 Polyvinyl Record Co.

5
Nightmares
00:03:09

Sonny Smith, Guitar, Vocals - Sonny & The Sunsets, MainArtist - Delaney Mason Smith, Composer - Shayde Sartin, Bass Guitar - Garrett Goddard, Drums

2016 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2016 Polyvinyl Record Co.

6
Reject of the Lowest Planet
00:02:39

Sonny Smith, Guitar, Vocals - Merrill Garbus, Instruments - Sonny & The Sunsets, MainArtist - Delaney Mason Smith, Composer - Shayde Sartin, Bass Guitar - Tahlia Harbour, Instruments - Garrett Goddard, Drums

2016 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2016 Polyvinyl Record Co.

7
White Cops on Trial
00:02:52

Sonny Smith, Guitar, Vocals - Sonny & The Sunsets, MainArtist - Delaney Mason Smith, Composer - Shayde Sartin, Bass Guitar - Garrett Goddard, Drums

2016 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2016 Polyvinyl Record Co.

8
Check Out
00:04:10

Sonny Smith, Guitar, Vocals - Sonny & The Sunsets, MainArtist - Delaney Mason Smith, Composer - Glen Donaldson, Drums - Shayde Sartin, Bass Guitar

2016 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2016 Polyvinyl Record Co.

9
Needs
00:02:35

Sonny Smith, Guitar, Vocals - Sonny & The Sunsets, MainArtist - Delaney Mason Smith, Composer - Glen Donaldson, Drums - Shayde Sartin, Bass Guitar - Hannah Lew, Instruments

2016 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2016 Polyvinyl Record Co.

10
My Little Death
00:02:47

Sonny Smith, Guitar, Vocals - Merrill Garbus, Instruments - Sonny & The Sunsets, MainArtist - Delaney Mason Smith, Composer - Glen Donaldson, Drums - Shayde Sartin, Bass Guitar - Tahlia Harbour, Instruments

2016 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2016 Polyvinyl Record Co.

11
Dead Meat on the Beach
00:03:29

Sonny Smith, Guitar, Vocals - Sonny & The Sunsets, MainArtist - Delaney Mason Smith, Composer - Glen Donaldson, Drums - Shayde Sartin, Bass Guitar - Shayde Hamilton Sartin, Composer - Shayde Glenn David Donaldson, Composer

2016 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2016 Polyvinyl Record Co.

12
The Hospital Grounds at Night
00:04:17

Sonny Smith, Guitar, Vocals - Merrill Garbus, Instruments - Sonny & The Sunsets, MainArtist - Delaney Mason Smith, Composer - Glen Donaldson, Drums - Shayde Sartin, Bass Guitar - Glenn David Donaldson, Composer - Shayde Hamilton Sartin, Composer - Tahlia Harbour, Instruments

2016 Polyvinyl Record Co. 2016 Polyvinyl Record Co.

Album Description

Always eclectic but dependable in quality, the primarily guitar-based Sonny & the Sunsets have taken on country music, aliens, early rock & roll, psychic contact, garage rock, and screenplay inspirations, among other varied styles and subjects, even flirting with synths on their two prior albums. For their sixth long-player, Sonny Smith and gang enlisted tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus to produce, and look to '80s new wave and funk for sonic inspiration. Under threat of bleeping keyboards and drum machines, fans needn't worry that the band has shed their characteristically loose and lo-fi sensibility. However, as is unusually the case on a Garbus project, things get weird (weirder) and more vibrant on Moods Baby Moods. Even those expecting the unexpected will likely be surprised by the exploding, distorted percussion in the opener "Death Cream II" and the funky disco of "Moods," though all of the above are details rather than redefinition. A song like "Modern Age" incorporates nettling synths alongside guitars, grooving bass, bongos, spoken word samples, shifting tempos, strings, and drum loops, retaining a handmade-with-love feel while incorporating more mechanical tools. Elsewhere, the garage-y, sci-fi-evoking "Reject of the Lowest Planet" ("Reject of the lowest kind/Reject, won't you please be mine?") keeps elements of the '60s in the mix. Less typical for the Sunsets, press materials mention Tom Tom Club among the album's influences, and that band's presence is unmistakable on "Well But Strangely Hung Man," a quirky, new wave funk-rap. Also sporting an '80s facade, "White Cops on Trial" takes on the day's headlines with catchy dance-rock and ultra-wry lyrics ("What will the jury say?/We have found him not guilty 'cause we are insane/Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, we are crazy"). Altogether infectious and loaded with robust basslines, the result of the collaboration is slightly restrained for Garbus and ornate for Smith, finding a savory middle ground that, though not without its more reflective moments and plenty of angst, consistently merits smiles and moving feet.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo

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