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Longtime Companion

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iTunes Review

A heartwrenching breakup for Sonny & The Sunsets leader Sonny Smith has led to an artistic breakthrough with the album Longtime Companion, which is fueled by country-rock. There’s always been a twang in Sonny’s voice, but he’s never before put it to such ample use. (The Sunsets previously wove their way through rockabilly, ‘50s pop, and garage punk.) On this concept record, based on the dissolution of Smith’s marriage after 10 years, the use of country tropes works perfectly. It never feels forced, largely because these 10 songs don’t try too hard to dig down to country’s roots; instead they settle on the comfortable country-influenced rock/folk of 40 years ago, à la Gram Parsons’ GP or The Kinks’ Muswell Hillbillies. From the sing-along barstool burner “Sea of Darkness” and the corn-fed folk of “I Was Born” to the gorgeous peals of flute and pedal steel on the moody “Pretend You Love Me,” this downtempo effort might, surprisingly, become the group’s biggest record to date.

Customer Reviews

Pure Listening Bliss

Somewhere near Beck's - Sea Change and Ween's - 12 Golden Country Greats but it's all Sonny and it's perfect.


Formed: 2007 in Bay Area, California

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The Sunsets coalesced in 2007 around prolific Bay Area songwriter, author, filmmaker, and visual artist Sonny Smith. With a rotating lineup made up of San Francisco regulars, including multi-instrumentalist Kelley Stoltz, Tahlia Harbour (the Dry Spells), John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees), Tim Cohen, and Shayde Sartin (Skygreen Leopards), the Sunsets gave Smith a perfectly sloppy, immaculately informed backdrop for his wry love songs and touching moments of all-too-real weirdness. Following a debut EP, Hypnotist,...
Full Bio
Longtime Companion, Sonny & The Sunsets
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Customer Ratings