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Shine's CatchUp with Sunny War

New album from Sunny War
New West Records
New album from Sunny War

Welcome to Shine's CatchUp, a new feature where WFPK host Laura Shine catches up with musicians about their music, new albums, or whatever they've recently been up to.

Singer/songwriter and guitarist Sunny War has a new album called Anarchist Gospel coming out this Friday, February 3rd on New West Records. She moved back to Nashville, TN where she lived as a kid but has spent most of her adult life in Los Angeles, CA. She now lives in Chattanooga. She has made several albums prior to the new one but it's the new one that got our attention and hopefully the rest of the world. We asked her about the new album, her producer, and a special guest on the record that Louisvillians will surely know. We've also included a music video of her new song "No Reason" below.

Your new album has an interesting title called Anarchist Gospel. What's behind the name of it?
After we finished tracking all the band stuff and my scratch vocals, Andrija had three singers come in to track backing vocals. There was just three women with huge voices layering their harmonies and creating what sounded like a whole gospel choir. When they were singing on the song “Whole” I said “it’s like Gospel!” and when they sang the part referencing Crass I said “it’s Anarchist Gospel”. So I added Anarchist Gospel to the list of potential album titles and asked people which one they liked most. Anarchist Gospel was liked most but it was a close call…. Album was almost gonna be called “I Was A Human Test Dummy”.

What was it like to work with your producer Andrija Tokic on this album?
Working with Andrija was a blast. He is very organized and very fast. He taught me to alway write everything down and always make notes. Ideas can be fast and rapid and it’s good to document whatever creative mania you experience musically. I like that he encouraged me to beat my last take whether tracking guitar or vocals… Andrija says “I think you’ve got a better take in you” and sometimes he was right.

We noticed Louisville's hometown son Jim James of My Morning Jacket also appears on your album. How did that come about?
I met Jim James in downtown LA. He volunteer’s regularly with the DTLA Food Not Bombs chapter. He even performed for the DTLA food not bombs virtual benefit concert. I asked him about singing on something of mine and he was down. He’s just a really nice guy.

You lived in L.A. for many years then made the move to Nashville. What do you like about being there and do you miss L.A. at all?
I moved to Nashville in May last year and now I’ve moved again. I just moved to Chattanooga, TN which is about 2 hours away from Nashville. What I love most about Nashville is being able to see good live music any day or time you want. Nashville is definitely a great place to get inspired and it’s nice to be around a community of musicians. Chattanooga is smaller but also pretty sweet and quite musical as well! There aren’t as many live shows in Chattanooga but the local music scene is pretty great. I love LA but miss my friends and family there more than the place itself. But I’m gonna go visit them this summer and hopefully as often as possible.

Laura is the afternoon host from 3-6 pm weekdays. Email Laura at lshine@lpm.org

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