Italian roots renegades Sunday Morning’s excellent new album ‘Four’ sounds much like a sunglazed heartland rock US road movie soundtrack. With the best part of ten years behind them in terms of touring and making records, this is a band that are totally at one with each other. It’s uplifting roots music that nods its cap to all manner of influences from The Replacements to Springsteen. Yet, far from a nostalgia trip Sunday Morning depicts a band refining their sound, with ‘Four‘ they have made a record that I’m sure will make a ‘Van Life’ piece in future months. It’s a perfect accompaniment to any trip! Americana-UK caught up with the band to see how life on the road works out for them.
So, with such a cohesive sound I’m guessing being stuck in a van together is nothing but fun, fun, fun?
When we started playing together, almost 20 years ago, we dreamed about ourselves in the future touring the world on a private jet or, at least, on a bus full of every sort of comfort. We’re still dreaming. Our beloved transportation is a Fiat Doblò, a spacious Italian car, with the trunk and one of the backseats both crammed full of instruments and merch. Andrea is the main driver (he’s also the car owner) and Luca usually sits on the passenger side.
Jacopo and Federico, the rhythm section of the band, have a special relationship that is like a long-lasting marriage: sometimes they are in love, sometimes they can’t stand each other. They always travel together in the backseats, trying not to be killed by a swinging guitar or a snare (or by themselves, obviously). We spend a lot of time smoking (and vaping), drinking dozens of beers, talking and listening to music.
OK, the real question. What’s on the stereo, guys?
Hiss Golden Messenger – ‘Heart Like a Levee’
A perfect song to start a journey, isn’t it?
Big Star – ‘In The Streets’
Great group, great song. It’s almost impossible to listen to it without imagining yourself in a car full with a bunch of friends. It’s the ‘That 70s Show’ effect.
Neil Young – ‘Don’t Cry No Tears Around Me’
Simple, melodic and heavy. One of Neil’s best driving riffs.
Big Thief – ‘Shark Smile’
Pulsating and sweet. A perfect song for driving at night, going to the hotel after a gig.
Strand of Oaks – ‘Goshen ’97′
It’s powerful and urgent. The opening song of ‘Heal’ makes you wanna get on a car and drive away as fast as you can.
Roxette – ‘Sleeping In My Car’
Deny us, if you can.
The Replacements – ‘Alex Chilton’
Oh my god, what a riff! The “I’m in love with that song” part makes you wanna smash the steering wheel beating the tempo.
Tom Petty – ‘You Don’t Know How It Feels’
Tum tum cha, tum tum cha. Roll down your window and enjoy your ride.
R.E.M – ‘Electrolite’
‘New Adventures In Hi-Fi’ is great record to listen to when you drive. And ‘Electrolite’ is a hell of a song, one of those that makes you press play again and again.
Kevin Morby – ‘Dorothy’
Sometimes you don’t need nothing more than a good old song played on guitar.
‘Four’ is out now on Bronson Recordings