Noise Pop 09: Sleepy Sun shines on with honest rock 'n' roll
I love to grab me some winks. And who doesn't enjoy a blazing ray? Ergo, Sleepy Sun bred in Santa Cruz but oh-so-appropriately bunked down these days in the Sunset is my new cozy cuppa Vitamin D dream-psych bursting with fuzzed-up, furry freak riffs, drums that skip and play freely in Ginger Bakered fields of jazz-inflected groove things, and dizzying layers of narcotic vocals.
Less noise-besotted and heavy on the heaviness than other once-'Cruz-centered kindred like Comets on Fire and Mammatus, Sleepy Sun hit its own lazy-day high with Brightblack Morning Lightstyle blues-rock. The band drifts on the gnarly curlicues of guitar and limpid washes of organ before crashing headlong into what sounds like a simian love-in on "White Dove" from Embrace, due for worldwide release in May on ATP Recordings. I spoke to vocalists Brett Constantino and Rachel Williams as they sat in a tree and puttered around during a Golden Gate Heights Park video shoot for the aforementioned song. Next up: the band, which has barely toured, will live in a van for the next three months, playing South by Southwest and All Tomorrow's Parties in England.
"I'd say our music is honest rock 'n' roll," says Constantino. "It's a concoction of six different songwriters that pick up on different things and are attracted to different sounds. But we're not going to shy away from the fact that there seems to be a psychedelic music movement. We don't have a problem with being lumped in with that!
"The funny thing is when we all moved to Santa Cruz to go to school, Comets [on Fire] had just left there. Everyone would always talk about, 'Oh, Comets on Fire they're the Santa Cruz flagship band.' 'But where are they and why aren't they ever playing?!' I always found that interesting."
"[Santa Cruz] is a very unusual bubble, a beach bubble," opines Constantino. "I find that it's the perfect place to develop as an artist and as a person, y'know just because the culture there is so open and forgiving to weirdness, to eccentricity."
"We all met in school in Santa Cruz," says Constantino. "We wanted to make a career out of this or give it a shot, so we moved out of our house in Santa Cruz. We still do live together. It's like a big giant family."
"Brett and I live in same room it's great," Williams says later. As a couple? "We just sleep in the same room in two different beds. But we love rumors, so spread it!"
With Lumerians, True Widow, and Kings and Queens
Feb. 25, 8 p.m., $10
Bottom of the Hill
1233 17th St., SF