This is an entry in an ongoing series for 303 Magazine, which will provide a range of local album reviews. It is our intention to highlight the talents of local musicians, whether veterans to the industry or newcomers. Like the bands, the album can be fresh or something we just haven’t had the power to take off repeat in the past few months. Check out previous entries in the series here.
When Sloan met Sonna at a college in Utah, he was a psychology major whose parents were classical singers. She was a music student studying the art of creating songs. Before marrying and embarking on careers that would take them to New Zealand, they fell in love and co-wrote “Closer,” a song that — several years later — would win them a Denver-based songwriting contest and cinch their debut album, All the Right Statements.
Folk-pop is not a common genre-pairing, but it makes sense when it comes from husband-and-wife duo sloan:sonna. Their album All the Right Statements — released September 6 — is filled with observational storytelling, set to a pop sound that’s polished and pleasant. It embodies the bliss of folk music with the prettiness of pop and serves as a breath of fresh air in a music scene that doesn’t see much of its kind.
Anyone who appreciates good lyrics and gets frustrated by poor diction can appreciate being able to understand the singer on this album. All the Right Statements predominately features Sonna’s voice, and the clarity and sweetness of her voice when telling the story of a person who just doesn’t fit into L.A. culture (“Time to Leave LA”) and the story of a guy with the world in the palm of his hand (the title track,) is extremely refreshing.
The sweet and easy-to-follow sound to sloan:sonna came after the duo realized the way they had been trained musically maybe a bit too — for lack of a better word — heady. What they wanted to accomplish on an album wouldn’t be found by relying solely on classical training.
“When we settled on the vocal style that we were gonna use for the album, we both had to acknowledge that we were kind of surrounded by a lot of pretentious-sounding vocal styles,” Sloan explained.
Jazz, classical, pop or otherwise, sloan:sonna offers Denver listeners something fresh with All the Right Statements. The delivery of their stories and the tongue-in-cheek observations of people they once knew is worth keeping an ear out for.
sloan:sonna will perform their award-winning song “Closer” at the Colorado Music Business Organization’s COMBO event on Friday, November 15 at the Walnut Room. More information can be found here.