CD: Sonos’ “December Songs”

December 22nd, 2010, 4:00 pm by Greg

Sonos: December Songs

(Big Helium Music Services, 2010):

For the first time in many years, I’m not doing a big round-up of all the new holiday music albums. But I am going to pluck three of my favorite discs out of this year’s batch and review ’em.

This is the third and final one of the season. It’s also the best new holiday music album of the year:

Ah, the power and the glory of the unadorned human voice…

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Live: Sonos @ The Linda, 10/8/10

October 13th, 2010, 4:57 pm by Greg

Sonos @ The Linda

The human voice unadorned is a magical thing.

On Friday night at The Linda in Albany, Los Angeles a cappella group Sonos multiplied that magic by six, applied it to a hipster’s dream repertoire of indie rock odes and layered on just a pinch of electronics.

No question about it, with Sonos the end result is much greater than the sum of its parts.

They opened the evening with Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game,” and it sounded even spookier and more dream-like than Isaak’s original version. Ben McLain spit out some beat-boxing mouth percussion. In the middle of the tune, they slid into a remix breakdown. And at the end, they nailed a slow, smooth fade-out.

And that was one of the more mainstream selections of their brilliant two-set performance.

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Win FREE TIX to Sonos @ The Linda, 10/8/10

October 4th, 2010, 1:02 pm by Greg

There’s been a huge resurgence of a cappella vocal groups in recent years, and one of the most exciting new groups in the genre is Sonos, who make their Nippertown debut on Friday night at The Linda in Albany.

The Los Angeles-based co-ed sextet reaches far beyond the doo-wop and barbershop roots of the a cappella groups of yesteryear. And while they dazzled fans with their introductory trip-hop version of the Jackson Five gem, “I Want You Back,” for the most part Sonos doesn’t bother much with pop hits, either. Instead, they’re more interested in exploring the world of alt-rock and other more adventurous genres for their source material.

“We do our best to defy stereotypes,” says Jessica Freedman.

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