PREMIERE: Sonny Smith Takes “Ayahuaska” on New LP “Sees All Know All”
The Bay Area troubadour returns with a ramble.
Sonny Smith has never done anything the easy way. After tiring of playing five-hour sets in the Denver coffeeshop scene in the ’90s, Smith headed south to Costa Rica, where he lived on an organic farm. Eventually he wound his way back to the Bay Area, where he settled into a prolificacy that matched his earlier live energy—including the 2010 project “100 Records,” which found him creating 100 fictional bands, complete with personas, and writing and recording two songs by each of them.
Now, Smith is preparing to release Sees All Knows All, an hour-long wandering story about a bohemian who undergoes a personal crisis, and we’re pleased to be premiering the album’s trailer and lead single. Smith originally presented the work—excerpts from which have been published in The Believer—at San Francisco’s Lost Church, where he was backed by Kelley Stoltz, Tim Cohen (Fresh & Onlys), Kyle Field (Little Wings), Alexi Glickman, and Sun Foot. You can watch him work it out in the album trailer.
Sees All Knows All drops January 15 in a limited-edition run of 300 blue-powder LPs, but you can hear an exclusive excerpt below. Entitled “Ayahuaska,” the eight-minute clip tags along as Smith visits a spiritual healer who doses him with the titular drug. Things get ugly pretty quickly—there’s some puking, there’s a woman who turns into a monkey—but as Smith achieves lift off, the trip becomes strangely moving.
Sees All Knows All track list
Chapter 1 – The Ring
Chapter 2. – Broken Artist
Chapter 3. – The Exterminators
Chapter 4. – Unbearable Confession
Chapter 5. – Ayahuaska
Chapter 6. – Y.C. Wong Kung Fu Academy
Sees All Knows All is out January 15 via Empty Cellar.