Sonny & The Sunsets
Antenna To The Afterworld
- Dark Corners
- Path Of Orbit
- Natural Acts
- Girl On The Street
- Death Scene
- Earth Girl
- 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.