L.A.-based vocal group Sonos reinvigorate a capella with their “innovative vocal arrangements, inspired repertoire” on SonoSings, the “stunning debut” (-Chris Douridas, KCRW) due September 15 on Verve.
The disc introduces the all-vocal powerhouse with eleven unaccompanied reinventions of songs from a diverse pool of artists: critics’ darlings Bjork, Rufus Wainwright, indie staples Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, as well as musical icons from Radiohead to The Jackson 5. It also features guest Sara Bareilles on a version of her own song “Gravity.”
The release coincides with a vocal revolution in music and pop culture: it’s been highlighted in a recent New York Daily News article “A capella poised for a serious makeover”; the promise of two prime time shows this fall (the musical comedy “Glee” on Fox and an American Idol-style a cappella competition on NBC); and featured music in commercials for brands such as the Toyota Prius.
But for Jessica Freedman, Chris Harrison, Paul Peglar, Katharine Anne Hoye, Ben McLain and Rachel Bearer, collectively known as Sonos, this is not a trend. Defying stereotypes, Sonos has burst the collegiate bubble that has defined a capella to carve a niche into mainstream music. And their appearance is being celebrated.
With the chops to back the hype, Sonos has performed with Neko Case on NPR’s Mountain Stage, at tastemaker Los Angeles radio station KCRW (“Live on KCRW” available on iTunes) and to a fervent U.K. audience:
“These graduates from the US college a cappella scene are giving the vocals-only pop ensemble a contemporary makeover. Prepare to be stunned by these stripped-down, sparse, white winter hymnals.” — Paul Lester, The Guardian
“They were fantastic … This is an act that will go down a storm at festivals and on TV… The six voices blend together seamlessly.” — Paul Kramer, The Hit Sheet
Sonos will tour in support of the release in the Fall. Further details pending.