Premiere: Sunny War Shares New Single “Higher”

Nov 23, 2022

By Caleb Campbell

Photography by Joshua Black Wilkins

Nashville-based singer/songwriter Sunny War has already made a name for herself in the world of punk-inflect blues and folk, crafting songs that fuse caustic reflections and soulful world-weary beauty. Over the past few years, she’s built a cult following with her self-released records, including her 2018 and 2019 breakout records, With The Sun and Shell Of A Girl, followed by last year’s Simple Syrup. Now she has signed with New West Records and is set to share her label debut, Anarchist Gospel, next year.

If Sunny described her last album as an album of refuge, Anarchist Gospel is what happens when that stability begins to crumble. The record was written amidst a series of shifts in Sunny’s life, including a move from LA to Nashville, a hard break-up, and the loss of her father. The resulting album is a document of pressure and resilience as Sunny weathers the winds of change, powerfully capturing the feeling of navigating a life in limbo.

“Higher” brings forth the stark heartache at the core of much of the album, with Sunny tracing devastating confessionals ensnared in gorgeous strands of acoustic fingerpicking. Even within its the sparse arrangement, the track also brings a stacked line-up of collaborators, including David Rawlings on guitar, Jack Lawrence of the Raconteurs on bass, and John James Tourville of the Deslondes on pedal steel alongside Megan Britt Coleman on drums and Jo Schornikow on mellotron. Sunny’s winding guitar lines knit it all together, offering a plaintive counterpoint to the desolate heartache in her voice, bringing beauty to the pain and softening Sunny’s raw lyrical poeticism. The song finds Sunny at the end of a relationship, finally forced to accept the reality that it is over. She confesses, “I am out of remedies/At least I’m not a liar/Somewhere in my memories/I held my head much higher.”

Sunny says of the track, “I wrote ‘Higher’ around this time last year, just a few days after my ex collected the last of his belongings from our apartment. The break up was fresh and I was thinking about all the years we spent together. I was also thinking about how much stronger I was before our relationship. I remember feeling really weak at the end… I knew it was over when I didn’t even have the energy to fight anymore. The ‘I am out of remedies, at least I’m not a liar’ lyric sums up how I felt when I knew it was really over and time to be honest about it. All I could do at that point was let go and try to figure out how to get back to whoever I was back when I respected myself. It was the same person my ex was attracted to in the first place that he unknowingly destroyed. ‘Somewhere in my memories, I held my head much higher.’

Check out the song below, along with Sunny’s upcoming tour dates. Anarchist Gospel is due out on February 3rd via New West Records.

Tour Dates

11/30/2022 – Cherry Street Tavern – Chattanooga, TN

12/1/2022 – Bijou Theatre – Knoxville, TN

2/22/2023 – Joe’s Pub – New York, NY

2/23/2023 – Kennedy Center – Washington, DC

2/24/2023 – Kennett Flash – Kennett Square, PA

2/25/2023 – Narrows Center for the Arts – Fall River, MA

2/26/2023 – Cafe Nine – New Haven, CT

2/27/2023 – Atwood’s Tavern – Cambridge, MA

2/28/2023 – Press Room – Portsmouth, NH

3/1/2023 – One Longfellow Square – Portland, ME

3/2/2023 – Zen Barn – Waterbury Center, VT

3/3/2023 – Funk N Waffles – Syracuse, NY

3/4/2023 – Caffe Lena – Saratoga Springs, NY

3/7/2023 – The Loft @ Manor Mill – Monkton, MD

3/8/2023 – Richmond Music Hall – Richmond, VA

3/9/2023 – Grey Eagle – Asheville, NC w/ Sarah Shook & the Disarmers

3/10/2023 – New Brooklyn Tavern – Columbia, SC w/ Sarah Shook & the Disarmers

3/11/2023 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA w/ Sarah Shook & the Disarmers

3/12/2023 – The Basement East – Nashville, TN w/ Sarah Shook & the Disarmers

3/14/2023 – White Water Tavern – Little Rock, AR w/ Sarah Shook & the Disarmers

3/15/2023 – Ponyboy – Oklahoma City, OK w/ Sarah Shook & the Disarmers

5/27/2023 – Strawberry Music Festival – Grass Valley, CA

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