Saturday, March 7, 2015
with Grand Lark, Thanya Iyer
O Patro Vys | 356 Mont Royal E.
Doors 8:30 pm | Show 9:30 pm
From their respective corners across Canada Sun K converged along Lansdowne Avenue in Toronto, combining their experiences along the way to produce a unique brand of grassroots folk rock splintered with blues sensibilities. The body of work they set out to create is diverse and ranges both in genre and structure; like its authors it refuses to linger on one message, tone or energy for any length of time, always rushing forward to rediscover itself.. The overall aesthetic combines complex melodies with arrangements that mimic the experiences that inspire the sound.
Sun K was born through a mutual appreciation of one another’s music after having crossed paths at bars throughout the city; bars whose names wouldn’t be out of place in a Coen brothers' film. Equal part students of music and folklore, sympathetic minds and sounds brought them into each other’s orbit.
While Montano shoulders most of the weight in songwriting and arrangements, the overall aesthetic of the music is dependent upon the contributions of each individual musician. The set list unfolds and Butler seamlessly flies back and forth between the fiddle, rhythm and lead guitar, as Stu rejoins in kind on brass and keys. The constant is the rhythm section, crafted by John and Ju to be as meticulous as every other element in instrumentation and melody. Each song is a complex tapestry of science and soul, coalescing into an ‘auditory mandala’ to delight their listeners’ ears, minds, and bodies.
Sun K’s live show moves seamlessly between up-tempo backbeat-driven rock ‘n’ roll and creeping country-infused ballads, projecting a sound that seems like it originated years before the band members were born. Instrumentation is diverse, unpredictable; there’s an element of conflict in their shows when high energy visceral tunes like “Sweet Marie” are juxtaposed with the crafted orchestral performance of “Let It Grow” and ominous ballads like “The Road”.
Their sound isn’t so much influenced by any specific genre or group of artists. Rather it is inspired by the ongoing interaction between Sun K and the characters in the narrative they tell, framed by the city they live in, and nourished by the audiences they are playing for.