With The Sun
Hen House Studios
Sunny War is a gifted guitarist and singer – a great lyricist and songwriter – she’s also got backstory to hook you in: A teenage runaway, etc.
But really, it’s about the music she’s making, and the way she’s going it – across With The Sun you’ll hear deft fingerpicking, it’s like a claw-hammer banjo approach to acoustic guitar playing. And there are some spritely country-blues workouts (‘Til I’m Dead, To Love You) and some deep philosophical meditations (I’m Human). Sometimes you’ll get both at once (Violent).
I’m reminded often of Joan Armatrading’s vocal tones, that stoic carrying of heartbreak. I think too of some of the quieter, surprisingly deep but gentle moments on the second and third Tracy Chapman albums (Static, Come Back).
“How would you know you had a heart/If it wasn’t broken?” – that’s the refrain on the opening track (If It Wasn’t Broken). There’s something so achingly perfect about this, its placement, her phrasing, the return to it as a preoccupation within the song and then in the setting up of it as a theme for the album – a main lyrical concern that is then approached from various angles.
I’m convinced I’m hearing the work of a genius – someone unique and powerful, someone that appears to be getting notice at just the right time. We need music like this. To spread goodwill, to help raise awareness, to try to feel good. It helps that the music is technically flawless without ever sacrificing emotion. In fact it’s the heart, the soul, the grit, the stoicism and determination that drives this – every bit as much as the guitar artistry and immaculate songcraft.You can support Off The Tracks via PressPatron