Keep It Together

Keep It Together

by SonnaSonna

Vinyl LP(Long Playing Record)

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Sonna were a short-lived Baltimore, Maryland-based group whose guitarist Jeremy DeVine is best known for running Temporary Residence Limited, one of America's most successful labels associated with post-rock and experimental music. The band released two Steve Albini-recorded full-lengths of moody, mostly instrumental indie rock as well as a handful of singles, EPs, and split releases. With the exception of 2002's Make Shift Carousel (a collaboration with electronic artists Sybarite and Lilienthal), all of Sonna's original non-album material chronologically appears on the double-LP Keep It Together. Given that the collection appears well over a decade after the group's breakup and final album, and that their recordings were well-received at the time but never exactly gained a rabid cult following, this release provides a good opportunity to rediscover and re-evaluate the band. Sonna were exceptional at balancing melodic and atmospheric elements. Their guitars were bright and expansive, and their melodies weren't obscured by effects. Their drums were often upfront and driving, but they didn't drown out the guitars. Their songs often stretched close to the ten-minute mark, but they weren't challenging, patience-testing listens; they were warm, inviting, and touching. Sonna had such a singular sound that Keep It Together feels as cohesive as their proper albums. Two of the EPs included (These Windows Are Pistons and The Eventual Bow) are continuously flowing three-part suites, and 2000's "Kept Luminesce" 7" (sequenced in the middle of the collection) showcases the band's more uptempo, catchy side. Vocals do make occasional appearances, and it's not quite fair to dismiss them as being purely textural or that the reflective lyrics don't make an impact, but most pop-minded groups wouldn't bury the vocals so far in the mix, as on "These Windows Are Pistons (Pt. 1)." A few sporadic moments feature thin layers of spacy effects or a ProTools-like crunch to the drums, but otherwise the band avoided much of the studio trickery of their peers. While they did, on occasion, build up to more emotionally intense moments, they never kicked into crescendo-core overdrive the way bands like Explosions in the Sky (who were the opening band for Sonna's final gig) often do. Keep It Together ends with the appropriately titled "The Closer," which appeared on a 2004 Temporary Residence compilation and ended the group on a serene note, with abstract clusters of guitar notes floating and mingling with melodica.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/05/2016
Label: Temporary Residence
UPC: 0656605326917
catalogNumber: 53269
Rank: 174551


Disc 1

  1. These Windows Are Pistons, Pt. 1
  2. These Windows Are Pistons, Pt. 2
  3. These Windows Are Pistons, Pt. 3
  4. Way to Breathe No Breath
  5. Kept Luminesce
  6. Mirameko

Disc 2

  1. The Eventual Bow, Pt. 1
  2. The Eventual Bow, Pt. 2
  3. The Eventual Bow, Pt. 3
  4. The Closer

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sonna   Primary Artist

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