When was the last time you were completely surprised by a band? The type of show where you look around and notice everyone else in the crowd has the same grin on their face as you do. On Thursday night, San Francisco psych-sextet Sleepy Sun could have surprised just about any room in Seattle. After a very successful SXSW, and a relocation from Santa Cruz to San Francisco, this young band has just embarked on a lengthy tour in support of their great new album Embrace. Luckily, Seattle was their final show before a blast through Europe where they have some high profile gigs such as The Fans Strike Back Festival, All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival, and a headlining Noise Pop appearance. I had heard the album and thought it sounded good, but I kept hearing great things about their live show, so I had to see things for myself. I honestly didn’t expect them to rock as hard as they did at a tiny place like The Sunset.
Their music was an interesting mixture of folk, stoner-rock, and psychedelia. Think Comets on Fire meets Black Angels meets Black Mountain. It’s also no mistake their new album was recorded at Hive Creative Labs in British Columbia by Producer Colin Stewart (Destroyer, Black Mountain). It’s also no mistake their new album was recorded at Hive Creative Labs in British Columbia by Producer Colin Stewart (Destroyer, Black Mountain). The dual male/female vocals of Bret Constantino and Rachel Williams brought an interesting element to the band, and the tiny stage could barely contain their energy as they blasted through an amazing set of throwback rock with a fantastic backing band. It was Rachel’s vocals in particular that brought a whole new element to this already talented group. Their performance had it all, head-banging guitar riffs, blazing solos, bluesy harmonicas, and harmonious vocals. Good songs that went on for a while. They even had face painting. Yes, face painting. I’m still not sure what was going on there and they offered no explanation. Sometimes it’s better to not ask questions and just listen to the music. We may have witnessed something pretty special at The Sunset: an incredibly gutsy performance from a young band on the rise. Check out the band’s website and MySpace page.
Photos by Alex Crick: