Definitely noticeable in the music scene these days, country is having a large comeback, mainly when combined with other genres such as blue, rock and folk. If you are a fan of any of these genres or blends, an artist you need to check out is Sun-K from Toronto. Reminiscent of Bob Dylan and The Band, with the laid-back feel of Joni Mitchell and Lou Reed, Kristian Montano has a voice that is both smooth and has a bit of rasp, bringing more emotion to the powerful lyrics he sings. Their debut album, <em>Northern Lies</em>, is a short collection of the vast range of music they can play, and flawlessly at that. From the Southern rock jam “Cowboys + Drugs”, where Kristian and Kevin Michael Butler team up with powerful vocals and quick-shooting guitar solos, to the heavy, angsty final track “Hymn For The Living (One More Day) with Kevin showing off his fiddle skills and keyboardist Stuart Retallack adding an extra voice through his trumpet, Sun-K display all of their qualities effectively. The lead single off the record, “New York City Blues” changes so much throughout the 4 minutes. It goes from a slow beginning, to a jive jam similar to Jerry Lee Lewis that gets stuck in your head everytime you listen to it.
One of the best tracks would be the darker, heart-breaking ballad “The Road”. With every member showing off their softer side, the listener gets a a feel of what an intimate show of their’s is like. The song is beautifully framed by Aaron Bravener’s drumming and JuHang Sin’s bass mastery, while Kristian’s finger-plucking guitar, Kevin’s fiddle, and Stuart grace on both the keyboard and bugle. The chorus “How many times must a man’s heart break? And how many souls can one girl take? And she’s a lover, like no other, a long way from home” is reinforced throughout the song, with the back-up vocals becoming more haunting in sound, making the amount of men that this woman has conquered keeps growing.
If you haven’t checked them out live, it is your lucky chance. In support of their record, Kristian and the boys are touring across Canada, with a few dates in Toronto, as a residency at the Dakota Tavern. No matter where they perform, you are always in store for an amazing time.
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