Elected leader Blake Sennett recorded most of Sun, Sun, Sun while on tour with his other band, literate indie darlings Rilo Kiley. Appropriately, it has a travelogue quality, from the tourist brochure artwork to the way supporting players come and go. (Contributors include Eisley vocalist Stacy Dupree and Rilo Kiley auxiliary member Mike Bloom.) Sennett's songs reflect roadway loves and dime-store novellas too "Bank and Trust" is a quietly cynical tale of getting stuck in an American backwater, and lap steels and accordions paint the mournful memories of "It Was Love." Sennett's nicenik breath can be too much to take over a whole album, but he's rescued by the varied and impressive arrangements they make Sun as warm as an old woolen sweater. The title track is just a barren acoustic guitar with a piano in its back pocket, but organ and sax sell the vintage R&B tumble of "Did Me Good," and "Not Going Home" suggests John Vanderslice's wide-open pop flair. "I'll be Your Man" is also strong, a lovey-dovey daydream of vibraphones and Dupree's cutesy Mr. Sandman ba-ba-bas. The album's too long, and a little trifling. But its easygoing nature is probably also its best feature.
Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to email@example.com.