Records

Antenna To The Afterworld

Sonny & The Sunsets
Antenna To The Afterworld
PF145
Released: 14-06-2013

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Tracklist:
  1. Dark Corners
  2. Mutilator
  3. Palmreader
  4. Path Of Orbit
  5. Natural Acts
  6. Girl On The Street
  7. Death Scene
  8. Primitive
  9. Void
  10. Earth Girl
  11. Green Blood

Death? Afterworld? Android lovers dying in the streets bleeding green blood? Homeless girls? Dogs stranded here from other planets? What are Sonny & The Sunsets getting at on Antenna to the Afterworld, a fast-moving record of new wave synths and post punk beats?

The murder of a close friend of the band made Smith think a lot about death and life after death. Shortly after, a visit to a psychic/medium brought Sonny Smith into contact with another friend who had died. The encounter with the afterworld inspired the bulk of the lyrics on the new record – and what a bizarrely entertaining odyssey it turned out to be.

As a writer of songs, plays and short stories – Smith has never limited himself to one style or theme. The restless trend of changing gears dramatically continues on Antenna to the Afterworld, which marks a significant musical and narrative shift from last year’s Longtime Companion.

On Antenna to the Afterworld, Smith likens himself to a space where one visits Earth. He does this through the use of wry humour, gritty poetry and a myriad of musical lenses, all fleshed out by drummer Kelly Stoltz’s Joy Divison-like beats, Ryan Browne’s new-wave basslines and Tahlia Harbour’s deadpan vocals.

“I come from the planet of dogs/ And I walk on your streets / and I can’t wait to find / My little place in your weird world,” Smith sings on opening track “Dark Corners,” as the song’s use of synthesizers lends the perfect sonic counterpart to the sci-fi narrative.

Later, “Girl on the Street” proved to be one of the most immediate and infectious songs found on Antenna to the Afterworld, as Smith pairs an upbeat, major key melody with a candid depiction of a homeless girl he observes while walking the streets of his native San Francisco.

Soon after, the record closes with “Green Blood,” a quasi-spoken word track that uses male-female call and response vocals to tell the tale of Sonny’s affair with a spaceling - a beautifully composed conclusion to an interstellar tale.

In support of their sophomore album, the band is looking forward to returning to Australian shores for a national tour later this year.

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