PREMIERE: Sonny Smith Gets Lost in “Pictures of You” Video

The West Coast garage rock icon goes solo for Dan Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound label on the forthcoming Rod for Your Love, grows nostalgic in video for first single.

There are few musicians who live up to their name as accurately as San Francisco’s longtime patron of the arts Sonny Smith, who, with his accompanying Sunsets, has been a vibrant fixture in the garage rock scene that’s flourished in the Bay Area since the turn of the century. The revolving cast of West Coasters and their solar center have maintained their goofy brand of bubblegum talk rock over the course of six major label releases—not including Smith’s small trove of self-released material he recorded on his own.

This February, Rod for Your Love will see Smith flying solo once again, this time under the approving glance of Easy Eye Sound, the brand new label launched by The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. Promising ten fresh tracks, one collaboration with Angel Olsen, and 0 percent chance of showers, Rod is a promising beacon for the coming year.

The record’s first single, “Pictures of You,” suggests Black Lips more than Black Keys, as the jangling guitars and breezy melodies lift the peculiarly linear two-and-a-half minute track to heights previously unreached by Smith. Despite his newly adopted no-frills songwriting mentality, “Pictures” somehow sounds brighter than the majority of Smith’s preceding discography. “By the time we got to Nashville and began working with Dan, I was thinking ‘let’s just make a fun, guitar-driven record,” confesses Smith. “I don’t want to have any extracurricular stuff here. I just want it to be really pure.”

Check out the Ryan Daniel Browne–directed clip and the album’s full track list below, and catch Smith’s latest rays when they illuminate stores early next year.

Rod for Your Love tracklisting

1. Pictures of You
2. Lost
3. Adventures
4. Slaves
5. Live, Love and Be Free
6. Rod for Your Love
7. Burnin’ Up
8. Refugees
9. More Bad Times
10. Bores Me to Tears

Rod for Your Love is out March 2.


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