“I haven’t heard a young guitarist this dexterous and ass-kicking in eons.” – Michael Simmons, L.A Weekly
It’s no secret that great art comes from the margins, from those who are either pushed to create from inner forces or who create to show they deserve to be recognized. Street singer, guitarist, and roots music revolutionary Sunny War has always been an outsider, and always felt the drive to define her place in the world through music and songwriting. Her restless spirit, a byproduct of growing up semi-nomadic with a single mother, led her to Venice Beach, California, where she built a body of songs that touches on everything from police violence to alcoholism to love found and lost.
In her early musical years, her battle with bad habits nearly killed her. Extreme emotions made that battle all the more perilous, yet from such trials, Sunny has crafted a set of songs that draw on a range of ideas and styles, as though she’s marshaling all her forces to get her ideas across ecstatic gospel, dusty country blues, thoughtful folk, rip-roaring rock and roll, even avant-garde studio experiments. She melds them together into a powerful statement of survival, revealing a probing songwriter who indulges no comforting platitudes and a highly innovative guitarist who deploys spidery riffs throughout every song. Her first album, Worthless, arrived in 2014, and she continued to gain attention over the next few years as she built up a cult following that crested with the release of 2018’s With the Sun. After a series of independent releases, War moved to New West for the 2023 album Anarchist Gospel, which led Rolling Stone to call Sunny War “one of the best new voices in roots music.”