Sonny and The Sunsets have a way of making me love them more with each new song they release and each quirky, bizarre new video. While I desperately want everyone to appreciate Sonny Smith’s brilliantly offbeat musical lyricism and instrumentation, I also want to selfishly keep the band to myself.
When Smith dragged his microphone with him offstage and directly into the crowd at The Echo last year, in a moderately buzzed but not rockstar-drunk delirium, the crowd took a step back, afraid of what his next move would be. But the guy just wanted to dance. He accidentally stepped on my foot and respectfully apologized while the band kept on jamming, thinking nothing of it. That was the moment I fell in love with The Sunsets and transitioned from casual listener to adoring fan.
Sonny and The Sunsets’ new video for the single “Cheap Extensions” off of their forthcoming album, Talent Night at the Ashram, derives from the eccentric imagination of animation director Teppei Ando. Ando cultivates a surreal, stylish aesthetic with his use of 2D animation, and the song’s fuzzy, ’60s psych-inspired elements enhance the whimsical nature of the video.
The entire album originated as a cinematic project from band leader Sonny Smith. The intention was to create a series of videos that would produce a feature-length film when combined. Although the project never quite came to fruition, the short films’ scripts began to inspire the songs that appear on the album. It’s no mistake that “Cheap Extensions” takes on a cinematic quality, both in its visual aesthetic and experimental narrative.
The video features a skater punk trailing around a random girl who is in fact wearing “cheap extensions,” glorifying the hairpiece in an idealized, majestic fashion. His irrational fascination with the girl’s fake locks has him follow her from the grocery store to the city streets in a surreal, post-apocalyptic environment. The video alternates between scribbly black-and-white animation with hints of neon color to all-out psychedelic, retro designs. Throughout Sonny sings, “I’m not going anywhere. I’ll follow your hair. Not going anywhere. I love your hair.”
As usual, the song fuses elements of surf rock, shoegaze, and ’60s psychedelia to create a cool, mellowed-out sound. Watch the video for “Cheap Extensions” below, and pick up a copy of Talent Night at the Ashram when it hits the street via Polyvinyl Records on February 17th.
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