5 writers, 5 questions, 1 band, hand-picked by MWA. Welcome to FIVE x FIVE. This week: Chicago power pop darlings, Sonny Falls.
Sonny Falls’ is no stranger to Midwest Action. Since their debut EP, There’s No Magic Left In This World, came out last spring, we’ve enjoyed their DZ Fest performance and their love for Barq’s root beer. After having ample time to digest the album, the staff at Midwest Action was excited to ask about the local music scene, creative process, and magic (or lack thereof) in this week’s FIVE x FIVE.
There’s no magic left in this world? Are you sure? Have you looked?
HA I think there’s some magic, I guess. It comes and goes. I mostly chose that title because of the cover image that we used, which is a picture of my friend Mike, hungover and asleep, not giving a shit about this sprawling view of Manhattan around him. I just thought that juxtaposition was funny. Sometimes there’s no magic. Sometimes magic is everywhere. I don’t know. It comes and goes.
In your last project, Shiloh, all band members shared songwriting duties. How can you compare that with writing for Sonny Falls, where you own everything?
I’m not sure that I would say I “ own” everything- I’d say that it really depends on the song. With all the new songs, it’s been really collaborative with the band. Generally, I have a lot of the chord structure, melody/lyrics and then we’ll flesh out the dynamics and sometimes write new sections or something. Calvin and I have been playing together for almost ten years, and I think that with some of these newer songs we’re finally tapping into some potential we’ve never harnessed before. A few songs on the new record were written completely together as a band, just blasting stuff out and letting the song form itself. With those songs, it’s been really fun because then I have a completely finished song that doesn’t have any vocals or lyrics, so then I can work on that part by myself.
What’s in the works for Sonny Falls for the rest of the year? More music or are you guys taking time to tour?
We’re going on an East Coast tour in August, and then we’re coming back and immediately going into the studio to record a full length.
What other local bands are you listening to these days? Who are your favorites?
I really love Coaster, Bloom, Deeper, Harvey Dentures, Mykele Deville, Max & the Mild Ones, Tragic Trip, Ne-Hi, Café Racer, Absolutely Not, Diagonal… Honestly, there are a million more, but that’s just off the top of my head.
What’s the most personal song on There’s No Magic Left In This World for you? What went into writing it?
I mean, honestly, they’re all really personal. No one song is more personal than the other. Each of them have their own little story behind them. “Skin and Bones” talks about a relationship that’s fallen apart, “Wealth to the City Man” is kind of about being a Lyft driver / being poor / a friend of mine that has struggled with addiction. I feel a lot when we play those songs.
SonnyFalls’ debut EP, There’s No Magic Left In This World, is available in the Midwest Action store for $7. To see what’s next for the outfit, check out their social channels, listed below.