April 25, 2012

Sonny & The Sunsets - "Pretend You Love Me" / Kelley Stoltz - "Caroline"

Two gems recently surfaced from San Franciscan vintage pop connoisseurs Sonny Smith and Kelley Stoltz. "Pretend You Love Me" is off Smith's third LP as Sonny & The Sunsets and it breaks from Hit After Hit's sun burnt 60s pop territory for the heartbroken country. According to Smith's new label, Polyvinyl, every song on Longtime Companion was written during his breakup with a girlfriend of 10 years. The warm bouncing bass, room-filling hits of slide guitar, and a touch of flute on "Pretend You Love Me" recall at times the Marshall Tucker Band or a softer Allman Brothers cut, but Smith's voice brings it all back home, and the song's laid back swinging vibe proves the perfect shelter for his melancholy. Stoltz, also the drummer for the Sunsets, recently released his newest single, the thumping "Caroline," as a vinyl single on French label Les Disques Steak. A muted bass, handclaps, and a few understated guitar and organ riffs provide the perfect backdrop for Stoltz's classic pop sensibilities as he pines over Caroline, the girl that's been "sung about so many times."

Preorder Longtime Companion from Polyvinyl and get instant access to the MP3s. Order Caroline from Les Disques Steak, which boasts fantastic cover artwork by Smith.

Sonny & The Sunsets - "Pretend You Love Me"

Kelley Stoltz - "Caroline"


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