REVIEW: “Palm Reader” by Sonny and the Sunsets

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Sonny and the Sunsets’ follow-up to Longtime Companion is entitled Antenna to the Afterworld, and like many indie artists to go before them, Sonny Smith and his band are ripe to tackle death and its aftermath.  The band suffered the loss of a close friend, and that tragic experience has led them produce songs like “Palm Reader,” a light ditty about reading palms and impending death.  The production on this song is top-notch with its sharp, analog synths and country-western electric guitars.  The song kicks off with the low-register twang of the main guitar riff, and that riff continues for the majority of the song.  Smith’s vocal track is the only component that really misses the mark in the song, with such bland lines as “Every year, they say the end is near/ But we’re still here.”  His voice is too jarring amidst the warmth of the instrumental tracks, and his lyrics rest awkwardly between the quirk of Syd Barret and the heart of Phosphorescent.  The song is whimsical and is not meant to erupt at any point, but it never seems to find its way.


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