No offense to the haters, but folk-punk is good, and if you disagree it’s time to get over it, because Sunny War is here and we owe it to her to listen to what she’s doing. This is not a drill.
With the Sun, her latest release and third full album, is an absolute triumph of folk-punk. Raised by a single mother, Sunny has led a life that can only be described as nomadic, frequently picking up and leaving almost everything behind to find a new place or experience, which proves that she, as the bio listed on her website states, is "hard to pin down." In 2009, Sunny was hailed by LA Weekly as one of LA’s up and coming self-made success stories, having found her voice busking on Venice Beach, signing a publishing deal with BMI and getting a sponsorship with Gibson all by the age of 18. Nine years later she no longer has that sponsorship (her guitar was summarily stolen) or that publishing deal. War is hesitant to talk about it, and during a conversation over coffee at the International Center of Photography in New York, she managed to dance around answering specifically why it fell through, essentially chalking it up to her wandering ways. Whatever the truth is there, the past is the past, and War is moving on. Written in the feverish aftermath of a breakup that needed to happen but nevertheless still hurt, the 13-track release finds Sunny happier than ever, which she admits is funny, considering the circumstances. In songs like “Gotta Live It” or “He Is My Cell,” you can hear the back-and-forth with herself over whether it was all worth it. It’s a well-worn path in art, but with Sunny War as the guide, the path feels poignantly different.
Today, we’re premiering the video for “Gotta Live It,” the second track on With the Sun. Of the video, War says: "Gotta Live It" is a very personal song about my struggle with alcoholism, my dysfunctional love life and the confusion I face daily participating in this rat race society. Anyone who lives paycheck to paycheck will probably know how I was feeling when I wrote the lyrics. I go insane every time I think about money and how it controls the world. A lot of us are just trying to make money so that we can afford the simple pleasures of eating and spending quality time with our loved ones. These days you can work full time and still not afford those things. ‘I'm a slave and a victim, digging my own grave for the system.’”
You can watch the video above.