Title: Simple Syrup
Artist: Sunny War
Label: Org Music
Format: LP, Digital
Release Date: March 26, 2021
Following a captivating NPR Tiny Desk performance and an acclaimed album in 2019, Sunny War became an artist to watch for fans of acoustic roots music. Since then, the L.A.-based singer and guitarist has certainly kept busy, founding a Los Angeles chapter of the nonprofit Food Not Bombs, marching for BLM protests, and recording her newest album, Simple Syrup.
Motivated by the isolation and pressures of the pandemic, Sunny War calls Simple Syrup “an album of refuge, an album you can listen to when you want to get away.” This new release showcases Sunny’s rich, soothing vocals and intricate fingerpicking guitar style while also highlighting her interplay with other musicians including bassist Ayron Davis and drummer Paul Allen, the core trio of Sunny’s live performances. The stripped back production offers more of a live sound than her previous releases, with music that runs the gamut from bluesy folk to alt rock. The tracks focus on everything from romance to politics, from small personal musings in “Kiss A Loser” to larger ideas about race and artistry in her Nina Simonne tribute, “Like Nina.” The pandemic has clearly been a catalyst for the singer-songwriter, sparking the creation of music that provides solace and uplifts the spirit.
After facing hardships in her youth that she explored on previous releases, Sunny War’s newest album represents her growth as an artist and her desire to give back through her music and her work in the community. For anyone struggling during these hard times, Simple Syrup offers lush sounds that will transport listeners to a more tranquil reality.
Reviewed by Chloe McCormick