The new Sonny & the Sunsets record is a country record. It’s a break up record. Love and Heartache. Every song was written during and is about his break up with his girlfriend of ten years.
The songs came fast and naturally so Smith let the next record be something different, he embellished his Sunsets with members of his country band The Fuckaroos. Recorded to tape in a musty beer stained basement, what transpired was a classic country record.
Smith grew up listening to old time music, his dad is a banjo player and his parents and friends played old time music.
"It was around the house, but I didn't like it!" recalls Sonny. "My dad played banjo and his friends would come over and play fiddle and mandolin. But I would go watch tv or listen to AC/DC."
However, some kind of country strain sank in. Gene Clark, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Townes Van Zandt, a little Johnny Cash, even the countrier side of the Kinks – there are hints of all of these in the new record and yet ultimately it still remains a Sonny & the Sunsets sound through and through.
1I Was Born (3:42)
2Dried Blood (2:59)
3Children of the Beehive (4:16)
4Pretend You Love Me (5:34)
5Year of the Cock (5:41)
6Rhinestone Sunset (2:34)
7I See the Void (2:56)
8Sea of Darkness (2:55)
9My Mind Messed Up (2:46)
10Longtime Companion (4:25)
Laced with rueful humor, Sonny Smith's low-key garage rock takes charming country detour. (8/10)
With Longtime Companion, Sonny Smith shows himself to be a stylistic chameleon, never shedding his skin to change its color.
The AV Club
Companion might have been born of a failed relationship, but it’s hard not to imagine Smith’s new look is anything but a rejuvenation.
Consequence of Sound
On their latest LP, Longtime Companion, Smith and Co. saunter into the land of cheap whiskey and cheatin’ women to deliver a true heartbreak album.
Bad times rarely sound so golden.
Pretend You Love Me (5:38)Sonny Smith / Ryan Browne