Sunny War – Higher (feat. David Rawlings) – Folk Radio UK | Episode Movies

Last year, Sunny War turned what felt like a lifetime experience into a folk-punk concoction, which she dubbed Simple syrup. In his review of the album, Bob Fish concluded, “Both the big moments and the small moments Simple syrup reflect an artist who is her own wife. She is a product of years spent honing her craft and singing on the streets and in clubs. Sunny War knows what she wants and found a way to create a world that not only reflects her view of the world, but is better for her as well. Remarkable, just remarkable.”

Newly signed to New West Records, Sunny has been busy recording her new album,Anarchist Gospel‘ – starring Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Jack Lawrence of Raconteurs – with Andrija Tokic (Hurrah For The Riff Raff, Alabama Shakes).

Today she releases her latest single “Higher” featuring the legendary Dave Rawlings. As always, she creates her songs deeply and this offering is no exception. “Higher” is also our song of the day.

Speaking of the new track, Sunny says; I wrote “Higher” around this time last year, just a few days after my ex left our apartment with his last belongings. The breakup was fresh and I thought about all the years we spent together. I’ve also thought about how much stronger I was prior to our relationship. I remember feeling really weak at the end… I knew it was over when I didn’t even have the energy to fight anymore. The song’s lyrics, “I’m out of resources, at least I’m not a liar,” sums up how I felt when I knew it was really over and it was time to be honest about it. All I could do at that point was let go and figure out how to get back to who I was when I respected myself. It was the same person my ex was initially attracted to that he unknowingly destroyed.

The label said the album features an eclectic selection of songs drawing on a range of ideas and styles: ecstatic gospel, dusty country blues, thoughtful folk, roaring rock ‘n’ roll and even avant-garde studio experiments. Fusing them into a powerful survival statement, she reveals an inquiring songwriter who doesn’t succumb to comforting platitudes.

“Anarchist Gospel” is about the struggle to overcome trauma (Sunny lost her father shortly after completing the album, itself following a brutal bout of depression, a Covid diagnosis and the breakdown of her relationship) and controlling her destructive ones Side.

“I feel like I have two sides,” says the singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso. “One of them is very self-destructive, and the other half is trying to work with the other half to keep things balanced.” That’s the central conflict on Anarchist Gospel, documenting a time when it seemed like it would the self-destructive side win. Sunny says, “Everyone is a beast trying their best to be good. That’s what it is to be human. You are not really good or bad. You’re just trying to stay in the middle of those two things all the time, and you’re probably doing a crappy job at it. That’s ok because we’re all just monsters.”

Preorder Anarchist Gospel here –

Anarchist Gospel Song directory:

1. Love’s deathbed
2. No reason
3. Protection and storm
4. I don’t have a fight
5. Swear by Gawd
6. Earth
7. New day
8. Baby Slut
9. His love
10. Hopeless
11. Higher
12. Manikin
13. Sweet Nothing
14. Whole

Sunny war on tour:

11/30/2022 – Cherry Street Tavern – Chattanooga, TN
12/1/2022 – Bijou Theater – Knoxville, TN
02/22/2023 – Joe’s Pub – New York, NY
02/23/2023 – Kennedy Center – Washington, DC
02/24/2023 – Kennett Flash – Kennett Square, PA
02/25/2023 – Narrows Center for the Arts – Fall River, MA
02/26/2023 – Cafe Nine – New Haven, CT
02/27/2023 – Atwood’s Tavern – Cambridge, MA
02/28/2023 – Press Room – Portsmouth, NH
03/01/2023 – One Longfellow Square – Portland, ME
3/2/2023 – Zen Barn – Waterbury Center, VT
3/3/2023 – Funk N Waffles – Syracuse, NY
3/4/2023 – Cafe Lena – Saratoga Springs, NY
3/7/2023 – The Loft @ Manor Mill – Monkton, MD
3/8/2023 – Richmond Music Hall – Richmond, VA
03/09/2023 – Gray Eagle – Asheville, NC *
03/10/2023 – New Brooklyn Tavern – Columbia, SC *
03/11/2023 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA *
03/12/2023 – The Basement East – Nashville, TN *
03/14/2023 – White Water Tavern – Little Rock, AR *
03/15/2023 – Ponyboy – Oklahoma City, OK *
5/27/2023 – Strawberry Music Festival – Grass Valley, CA

* with Sarah Shook & the Disarmers

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