Sun Ghost
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Sun Ghost


Band Alternative Jazz




""Best Album 2011""

"Leading the way in the pop revival going on in town, you're sure to be humming and singing right along after only a few listens." - YabYum Music & Arts

"Sun Ghost release "Love, Hurt & Paradox""

The opening track on local rockers Sun Ghost's "Love, Hurt & Paradox" feels a little like the Black Keys covering an outtake from Bob Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" using Mudhoney's amps and distortion pedals.
Sun Ghost Release Show

When: 8 p.m. Friday, May 6.
Where: Yucca Tap Room, 29 W. Southern Ave., Tempe.
Admission: Free.
Details: 480-967-4777,

And the rest of the album more than lives up to that promise, from the melancholy country-blues vibe of "Can't Love You" to the more experimental impulses they flash as they're setting the tone for the handclap-driven "Photo Radar Blues."
We caught up with lead singer/guitarist Trevor Denton and this is what he had to say.
Question: When you guys started as a two-piece, in 2009, just you on vocals and guitar and Donnie Atkinson on drums, I've seen you describe what you were doing as a stripped-down White Stripes/Black Keys kind of thing.
Answer: Donnie and I were in this other band together and it wasn't really our cup of tea, musically. So we went off and started doing songs just on guitar and drums. But then, after a while, doing music without a bass guitar, it was just kind of lacking, so we brought our friend Chris (Gerber) in and the sound kept growing. Now, we're writing songs with organ.
Q: Did adding more people inspire the change in your sound or were you getting interested in other stuff?
A: It was probably a combination. When we brought Chris in, he contributed to the songwriting as well. So the sound kind of changed at that point just because of another person being part of the songwriting. Then, we added a second guitar player (Thomas McIntyre) last year. And we keep showing each other music.
Q: I've seen you mention Ben Folds Five and Elvis Costello as inspirations.
A: We bought an organ and basically, all of the songs that we've written since we recorded the album, the newer songs, they mostly all have organ in them and it's kind of stylistically similar to Ben Folds, because that's kind of how I learned to play piano in the first place, listening to Ben Folds. So at first, I never even incorporated that into the sound of the band because we just had guitars but as we keep adding more keyboards, I'm finding myself more influenced by that kind of thing.
Q: So Alcohol Freak Out was the original band name?
A: We played a couple of shows under that name. We couldn't think of anything else. But once we got the third member in, we kind of decided we should probably do something a little more serious sounding (laughs).
Q: When did you record the album?
A: The album was mostly recorded last year. We finished the tracks in December and it's just taken us forever to mix it and get it printed. But since probably January, we probably have four or five new songs. They're a little bit more of a departure. They're not quite as hard rock. I don't know. People are describing it as more carnival-sounding or more jazz influenced.
Q: Are you the main songwriter?
A: Yeah, for the most part. For the songs on the album, I basically wrote 'em and then the other guys, they make up their own parts. So I'm not telling them exactly what to play or anything. And some of the newer songs have been more of a group effort, I would say.
Q: Are any songs on the album holdouts from the two-piece days?
A: Yeah, actually, "Photo Radar Blues" was one of the first songs that we ever wrote. Donnie and I wrote that together. And then, a few of the other ones, "1.21 Jigawatts" and "Can't Love You." Those were the three we started out with.
Q: Are you planning on touring?
A: We don't have any major touring plans but we've been trying to set up weekend trips to Southern California, Flagstaff, Vegas, things like that. Hopefully, down the road, we'll be able to put together a substantial tour but that's not in the near future.
Q: How would you say the live show compares to the album?
A: There's definitely more of a sense of energy going on when we play live. I get a little more acrobatic and screamy with my vocals at certain points. It's just kind of a product of playing live with the energy going around the room.

Read more: - The Arizona Republic

"The Joy of Love, Hurt & Paradox"

"Music that at once seems to be just as likely the soundtrack to a walk in the park as it would a drunken pool party at full volume in the middle of the night. ... Blues-drenched brilliance." - Java Magazine

"Sound Off: DJ Dana on Sun Ghost"

"La Di Da" is the first single from Sun Ghost's upcoming release, Glitter, Guns & Gold, due out in January.

DJ Dana: It's definitely Beatles-inspired. It was interesting, because it's like the pop-era Beatles mixed with the mid-range Beatles. It had some of that Paul McCartney thing -- of putting, like, eight songs into one song. Like "Band on the Run." I liked it. I like anything that seems like it's over 30 years old [laughs].

I've been listening to the Beach Boys Smile record a lot, and I feel like these guys have also been listening to it. The vocal harmonies are great -- even though it's a demo, and there are some rough parts. I loved the "He went to college, she went to church" line. Just loved that lyric. It sounds so evocative.

When I hear that, I just think "Beatles." I really admire the amount of work that went into it. Instead of just the monotone drone-y rock thing [mimes strumming], they put a lot of effort into it.

There's actually an arrangement. You don't hear it very often, but a lot of my favorite stuff doesn't go for arrangements. I like three-chord pop songs.

Country, too. It's pretty straightforward. But, something like this is really refreshing to hear. Have you ever heard Ryan Taverna and The Threads? It's very similar. That's exactly what it reminds me of.

It reminded me a lot of a group called Dr. Dog. I don't know if you've heard them at all. Had some of the same sort of . . . like . . . sort of featuring one of those discordant, chromatic piano climbs . . . [laughs]. It's a great song. I spent a lot of time interviewing the songwriter, Trevor Denton, for this thing I did about Ron Paul. I feel like it's a little bit of a shame that I spent time talking with those guys, and we talked about their music so little. After listening to this, I feel like I should have talked with about his band more. It's not like I can't, I guess. They haven't moved away or anything.

I think people like to hear upbeat stuff like this. Poppy, but not in a stupid way, like American Idol or Britney Spears. There's some depth and substance.


Yeah, that's the word.

You just like it because it sounds like it's over 30 years old.


Did you see the last Woody Allen movie, Midnight in Paris?

No, not yet.

It kind of warns of about the dangers of permanent nostalgia.

Uh-oh [laughs]

To some degree, he's making Woody Allen is making fun of himself, but sitting in the theater, I was like, "Oh, no, that's me," in regard to different eras of music.

Me, too, but that's a whole genre now: "Nostalgia." Everything is obviously influenced by older things, but I tend to go back to the originals. Clothes, furniture. I don't want to just get something that "looks cool," I want the original. That's how I am with music, but if it's a good rendition, then I'll like it. I'm eclectic, but if it sounds pretty close to the real thing, chances are I'm going to like it.

Sun Ghost is scheduled to perform Saturday, November 12, at The Fixx in Tempe. - Village Voice Media

"Song of the Week: "La Di Da" by Sun Ghost"

After a particularly troubling weekend, I was searching for something to soothe my soul, something to calm my mind, something to make me smile—I wracked my brain for days about this. I didn’t want to hear anything I had listened to over the weekend, just wanted to put it behind me and remember the lessons learned. Still I had no song for the week. While I was pondering, trying to clear my mind of any negativity in the middle of the night, a piano line came to mind—I couldn’t even place it at first, but it made me smile—and that line must have played through my head for an hour. Finally, I remembered the names Mary Johnson and Robert Brown and then I smiled even more, because I realized that it was Sun Ghost’s “La Di Da” that had taken over my mind and renewed my mood. It also made me think about the last great weekend I had had and spent with quality people, because they played somewhere in the middle of it and this song was demanded at the end of their set by the fervent crowd. It has been one of my favorite songs by Sun Ghost for some time and I doubt I’ll ever grow tired of it. This week it just seemed to become especially important and it will definitely be one of my go-to songs anytime I need to turn a frown around.
Over the last year or so of listening to Sun Ghost and catching their live shows I’ve heard many permutations of this song, including a demo of the song released on Soundcloud eight months ago—that being said, nothing compares to the amazing finished product that serves as the fifth and final track on “Side A” of their new album Guns, Glitter and Gold. I was completely stunned the first time I heard it, to tell you the truth, every bit as exciting as it is live, but with a lush Beatlesque production courtesy of Nick Danford, that some evokes a bit of ragtime, a bit of British music hall and more than a hint of Ben Folds Five. From the keyboard intro, to the barrage of guitars that blows it away, to what may be Denton’s best vocals to date, this song has nearly every element possible that I love about indie pop. This combination alone makes it one of my favorite singles of the year, but it also happens to be amazingly catchy, generously littered with more hooks than a tacklebox and it tells a charmingly endearing tale. The story of Mary Johnson and Robert Brown is about two people from two different walks of life finding each other to discover, “their worlds were turning upside down.” As they live their lives together or apart, they love who each other is and the tune seems to be a joyous celebration in song about how fairly divergent people can gladly celebrate each other through good times and bad. For my money there aren’t enough story telling songs like this around anymore and this is a positive, inspiring tale to be told, that plays out like a short story, novel or film. Beautifully done from beginning to end.
Sun Ghost have cleverly released the first half of their album on Bandcamp for sale in order to raise funds for the second half of the album. Over this past month, each of its five songs have been showcased one at a time on Facebook with some illuminating prose written by lead singer Trevor Denton about the songs meanings (they are fantastic reads, I highly recommend you check it out). This Friday, June 29th, the final song from “Side A” will be showcased and the video for “La Di Da” will be released as well. I’ve been privileged to see a rough draft of the video and believe me it’s something to look forward to this Friday. It’s both brilliantly absurd and expertly filmed and produced by William Jarrett Williams—truly a fun video that will have you laughing and smiling for four and half minutes. After listening to the first half of the album, buying a download of it, and checking out the video you should treat yourself by heading to the Sail Inn on Saturday to catch their show with The Bittersweet Way, Doublespeek, Woodworks and Companeros. If you like what you see, you should catch something special when Sun Ghost covers the Violent Femmes at the latest Cover The Crescent Charity Event on July 11th, with Vinyl Station covering Ryan Adams and Nowhere Man & A Whiskey Girl doing They Might Be Giants.
“La Di Da”
Mary Johnson and Robert Brown
Had a feeling their worlds were turning upside down,
He went to college, she went to church,
They met in the middle and found a formula to make it work,
They went in the back room and they drew out plans,
And they took their plans and they did whatever they wanted instead,
They tried being separate, they tried being one,
But all that happened was they kept spinning around the Sun.
He said, “I can catch, you can fall, we can sing,
‘La da di dada da da, I know you and I like who you are!’”
Robert and Mary went on a trip,
Poor old Robert – his foundations started to slip,
Mary said, “Robert, you just worry too much,
You’re ripe to the touch,
And we’ve got a long, long way to go before we’re there.”
He said, “I can catch, you can fall, we can sing,
‘La da di dada da da, I know you and I like who you are!’”
Mary Johnson went to sleep,
‘Cause there were secrets that she rather would not keep,
Robert Brown, he went to bed, but he couldn’t sleep
‘Cause there were so many things running through his head.
He said, “I can catch, you can fall, we can sing,
‘La da di dada da da, I know you and I like who you are!’”
You can listen to “La Di Da” here:
You can listen to and buy “Side A” of Sun Ghost’s “Glitter, Guns & Gold” album here: - Echo Cloud Productions


April 2011 - LP - "Love, Hurt & Paradox"
December 2012 - LP - "Glitter, Guns & Gold"



Phoenix-based indie pop rock trio Sun Ghost consists of Trevor Denton on lead vocals and piano, Nick Danford on bass and Donnie Atkinson on drums. The band released their debut album Love, Hurt & Paradox in early April of 2011 and the album is a stellar blend of blues, indie and garage rock. “We each have very different tastes from each other in many ways,” said Denton, “so I think our overall sound is a little bit Frankenstein-y, in that it comes from so many different places. But I think we maintain some consistency in our sound with old fashioned piano-driven rock and roll.”

Sun Ghost formed in 2010 after evolving from a 3-piece to a 4-piece, and have since evolved back to a 3-piece. Still, various guitar players still make guest appearances at live shows and on a handful of recordings.

Sun Ghost has just released their second full-length album, Glitter, Guns & Gold, on December 15th, 2012, which can be purchased from the band at, or through iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, etc.

(Adapted from an article posted by