Say it: Sun Gold. Let the name wash over you, like an endless day at the beach caught on an old Polaroid, colors faded but the memories vivid, with a patina of warm vibes and quixotic cool. That’s the languid sound of Sun Gold. Take some of the biggest and baddest rock tunes of the Nineties—chestnuts by bands like Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, and the Foo Fighters—bleached, faded and aged by the sun and the years into dreamier, psychedelic-tinged folk-rock musical melancholies, all sepia-tones and de-saturated colors, high lonesome harmonies, steel-strings, harmonicas and mandolins and loping rhythms, the way the rapture and rush of youth is mellowed by memory into the calmer tides of the years to come.
Coming of age in those now nostalgic Nineties, singer-songwriters Wes Hutchinson and Casey Shea have worked together since 2002, both leaving Nashville for New York and, with a new band—dubbed, not accidentally, Sundown—an eventual major label deal gone awry that only fueled their friendship and further collaborations. Shea’s songs—heard on television shows from One Tree Hill to The Gates— have been described by MTV as “cursive on the head of a pin, beautiful, heartfelt and wrenching.” Hutchinson, an equally prolific song-scribe and artist with two acclaimed albums and placements in the recent Lions Gate Film, Love The Coopers, MTV’s The Real World, and many more, is also an in-demand sideman with buzz bands like The Candles and Lenka.
Together again, the pair’s long partnership yields the kind of brotherly and buoyant close harmony associated with the Byrds, Beach Boys, CSNY, and early-70s Pink Floyd. Witness their hypnotic reading of Alice in Chain’s “Man in the Box,” which, like their similarly poignant and touching covers of Smashing Pumpkins’ “1979” or Morphine’s “A Cure for Pain,” reveals layers of meaning, emotion and reflections that perhaps even the original songwriters did not anticipate. Sun Gold, then, is neither an homage nor a tribute album, but rather a kind of beautifully burnished distant echo, an elegant audio memory spiraling two decades into the future, that tells us as much about who we are now as it does who we imagine we were then.
—James Rotondi has written for Spin, Rolling Stone, Guitar World, Mojo and many more
Wes joined the Candles in February of 2012 and was asked to play bass on their new album to be released in the summer of 2013. They will be touring the Fall of 2017 and will be playing the Blue note in Tokyo, this August.
Follow The Candles on IG: THECANDLESMUSIC
Wes has played keyboards and guitars for Lenka for sold out shows in New York City. He played with her on ‘Fox and Friends’ and 'Big Morning Buzz' morning show in the city and was recently flown to Berlin to play a corporate Microsoft party as a duo with her.
Follow Lenka on IG: _LENKAMUSIC
Wes had the opportunity to play piano and organ for Hugo on tour in Thailand in 2012. They toured the entire country playing sold out theaters in Phuket, Rayong, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Singapore, and Pattaya.
Follow Hugo on IG: HUGOLEK
This 5 piece New York City outfit covers the Weezer Blue album in its entirety plus a handful of B-sides from Pinkerton. They’ve sold out the Mercury Lounge, Brooklyn Bowl, and venues all over the city.
Follow IG: SWEATERSONGS