The latest single from Los Angeles's Sunny War may sound like a pretty standard folk/Americana song. It's a pleasant enough song, particularly towards the beginning. It's up tempo, and pretty catchy. But once you start paying attention, you start noticing the punk edge and menace lying just below the surface. "Mama's Milk" is not a fun or happy song. The more the song goes on, the more you start noticing it, even if you're not a lyrics person. Towards the end, a saxophone kicks in which sounds like it's about to start smoothing the edges of the song. Instead, it ramps up the uncomfortable vibe as it starts getting more discordant. Plus, the backing vocals turn into straight up shouting at the same point. Most musicians would do this in a way that would repel most listeners, but Sunny War draws you in even more with this.
You can watch the "Subterranean Homesick Blues" inspired video for "Mama's Milk" below. Simple Syrup is due out March 26. You can pre-order the album through Bandcamp. For more on Sunny War, check out the artist's website.