The Sounds of the Desert Drench Tucson Band Sun Bones
Sun Bones, playing behind Laura Kepner Adney
More than anything musically, it could be said that Sun Bones' primary influence is Newton's laws of motion. A continuum of momentum and velocity is everything to the Tucson-based, self described "chamber punk" band.
Establishing themselves immediately with their 2013 self released debut, Sentinel Peak, their relentless touring, songwriting and recording pace, and just a single minded pursuit of shattering limits -- self imposed or otherwise -- in all aspects of how they operate as a band find them in a state of perpetual and speedy growth. At this point, Sun Bones has already moved on by the time you can catch up with them.
Following a whirlwind first half of 2014 that saw the release of two limited edition seven-inch singles and a collaboration with a full choir, the band has been on a week long mini-tour with fellow Tucsonan Laura Kepner-Adney (who also performs with Silver Thread Trio and The Cordials in Tucson), serving as her backing musicians. For Sun Bones' set, Kepner-Adney returns the favor, adding keyboards and harmonies to the quartet's already intricate vocal arrangements.
"Laura is playing keyboards and singing with us for this tour," says bassist/vocalist Bob Hanshaw. "We're having a hell of a good time being her backing band. It's a new style for us -- it's Americana, but we're coloring some of it with that same kind of psychedelic flavor. But it's a real new and really cool experience to really cede the spotlight to someone else and just learn songs [without contributing] but adding to the orchestration. She's bringing a fullness to the songs. ... There's a band we played with in L.A. called Gárate that sort of inspired this."
"She's adding a fullness and texture to the songs and just her voice really adds something special," adds guitarist/singer Sam Golden. Whether, Kepner-Adney will end up as Sun Bones' fifth member (alongside drummer/vocalist Seth Vietti and multi-instrumentalist Evan Casler) remains to be seen, but this band has, to date, never turned down a chance to alter their definition of their aesthetic.
Recently, the group holed up in a cabin outside of Flagstaff for a few days, and in the isolation pushed themselves into new methods of songwriting, resulting in a batch of fresh material.
Golden explains that "the new songs are some of the most stylistically cohesive we've written yet, probably because we wrote them all in two days. They're more influenced by the '60s -- Beach Boys, Beatles, psychedelia -- more so than previous songs we've written."
If these songs come close to matching the quality of the band's recent single, "Moon Street" b/w "Earworm," they still promise to be nothing short of fantastic.
"Our whole game plan has been after Sentinel Peak has been to go into Wavelab [Studios in Tucson] once every couple of months and put down four or five songs and then pick two to release on limited edition seven-inches. We've done two so far and we'll probably do two more, and by then we'll have a bank of 15 or 20 songs to choose from to craft our next full length," Hanshaw says.
It's a wise decision to catch Sun Bones at every step, as this is a band with no endpoint, only movement.
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