Making a sun-sational return with their new album, New Day With New Possibilities, Sonny & the Sunsets targets the familiar country stylings of their 2012 record Longtime Companion in his latest single “The Lonely Men.”
The band, led by Sonny Smith, has been known to dabble in a span of genres, such as straight ahead rock n’ roll (Hairdressers From Heaven), beach pop (Talent Night at the Ashram), and 80’s new wave (Moods Baby Moods), and has once again settled into a distressed state of mind, but this time, it’s not stemmed from break-up heartache. Well, it could be a part of it.
The album opener, like the rest of the record, comes from a period pre-Covid when Smith retreated to a backwoods studio, initially planning to devote his time to painting. But before long, those plans changed, and Smith found himself writing song after song attached to themes of loneliness, failure, and longing – all influenced by the words of old western paperbacks, hence the country approach.
For “The Lonely Men,” Smith wrote the track while fixated on society’s “fucked up state” and how our loneliness consistently consumes us enough to where it leads us on a downward spiral towards impending destruction. The topic is heavy, and considering how the loneliness epidemic is an actual disease that seems to be spreading (61% Americans as of 2020), the concept is not only hard to hear, but it’s undoubtedly true (we have history to prove it), which prompts us to reflect on our own state of loneliness and, if broad and deep, investigate how to approach it.
Though the lyrics – through impassive perceptions of broken men – are fueled by a lonesome brew of sardonicism and poetic articulation, the song itself steadily extends from quiet, placid finger-pickings to an abounding instrumental execution, contrived of a briskly meandering bass line, rippling strings, and pedal steel.
Smith’s first single for the project “Ring My Bell” also attends to an isolated narrative, filtered by The Sunsets’ well-known charm that brings a certain levity to a weighted motif, inviting an air of ease and tease.
So far, New Day With New Possibilities sounds like the type of record laden in weighted relevance that subtly awakens an undeniable awareness in you that should feel overwhelming, but actually feels like a release – good-humored arrangements allowing each subject to be a breathable affair, rather than a suffocation.
Life can be a gruesome array of emotions, as we know, but as long as there is a new day with new possibilities, we can face the afflictions head-on instead of trying to escape them.