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Album Review

The consistently brilliant Sonna does it again with Smile and the World Smiles With You, a lush masterpiece of epic indie rock recorded by Steve Albini and the follow-up to its critically lauded debut, We Sing Loud Sing Soft Tonight. The subtle, shimmering guitar interplay on tracks like "Open Ended" shows that this band owes as much to past psychedelics like Pink Floyd as it does to the Slint lineage. By taking the quiet subtlety of Low and combining it with the grandeur of Mogwai and the gentle tones of Múm (see "One Most Memorable"), Sonna conjures a sprawling dream album — but one that still seems to keep in touch with the crunchy and danceable immediacy of more standard indie rock. From the jangling country shuffle that kicks off "The Right Age" to the golden moods of "Smile," Sonna creeps along in slow motion, but it isn't the movement of a glacier, it's the measured rise of the sun over the ocean.


Formed: 1998 in Baltimore, MD

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

An indie rock band from Baltimore, Maryland, Sonna were founded in 1998 by guitarist/vocalist Chris Mackie, drummer/guitarist Jim Redd, and bassist Paul Petersan. Guitarist Jeremy DeVine, who established the Temporary Residence label in 1996, joined soon after the group's formation. Since much of Sonna's material was instrumental, they were often categorized as post-rock, but they always maintained a melodic sensibility as well as a penchant for experimentation and subtly complex arrangements. ...
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Smile and the World Smiles With You - EP, Sonna
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