Highlight Read: City of the Sun

September 8, 2015

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City of the Sun’s music is triumphant, yet gut-wrenching. It lifts you up and takes you to a different place, while simultaneously bringing you back inside of yourself to explore the realms within in your own brain and your own heart.

The instrumental band, City of the Sun, is a relatively young trio, having formed in the early 2010s after guitarists, John Pita and Avi Snow, met through a mutual friend. Eventually Snow invited percussionist, Zach Para, to join the duo after hearing Para play live at Arlene’s Grocery—a beloved and threadbare music venue in the Lower East Side.

The three musicians first met at a practice space on a hot summer’s day to jam together. But the air conditioner was broken so they moved outside to the street (into the literal city sun) where they then partook of their first extemporized busking session.

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“Most of our connections are made organically first.”

 

Although they rely heavily on social media to stay connected to their fans City of the Sun has an approach most other post-internet artists lack, “Most of our connections are made organically first.” Says Snow. By busking, “people are able to actually hear us [live],” Adds Pita, “and then they can follow-up via social media.” Instead of the other way around, discovering an artist online and then seeking them out later, to hear them play live.  These natural connections help to root fans into their music on a much deeper level.

The three musicians have other charms too, which not only make them aesthetically pleasing, but also different; one being, their resounding determination, “I’m always kind of hungry for the next sound.” Says Para, to which Pita echoed, “We have this new song called, Winter 2011, and that’s my favorite song to play [right now]. We’ve only played it live twice, so maybe that’s why, but I love new textures, new sounds.”
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“[Our music] has the power and the privilege of adapting to many different concepts and contexts…it doesn’t have limits. [Our songs] aren’t limited to how old you are, if you have a boyfriend, or a girlfriend, if you’re single.”

 

City of the Sun is also remarkably unique because they play mesmerizing and reflective instrumental music, in an age when lyric-heavy music is the dominating force.

But these boys see it as an advantage, “[Our music] has the power and the privilege of adapting to many different concepts and contexts…it doesn’t have limits. [Our songs] aren’t limited to how old you are, if you have a boyfriend, or a girlfriend, if you’re single.” Says Pita. While lyrics can lead listeners along a certain path of thought, City of the Sun’s music is, “A universal language, which is really cool.” Says Snow.

For instance, two of their spellbinding songs, Another Time and Everything—with their progressive beats, tantalizing Spanish guitar, and energized strums—both leave space for introspection and wonderment, and that’s just what they want. “I don’t want to [evoke] only one feeling, for instance, happiness, I don’t find that to be as in depth—I’d like to maybe bring back a memory. I would like the audience to feel a thought so deep it has feelings all within it.” Says Para, who smiles humbly.

As they packed up their amps and guitars Para asked, where Pita and Snow, wanted to go busking that day; one more reminder of their dedication to the music, and their desire to connect with their ever-expanding audience.  

City of the Sun describes their music as “hopeful and timeless.” But it is also extraordinarily euphoric, leaving you with a strange and wonderful satisfaction. Their reoccurring theme of slow and melodic build-up,  to a burst of sound and color, triggers an explosion into the deepest catacombs of your soul.

Catch City of the Sun performing live on September 16 at 7pm at The Gramercy Theatre in New York City. Feel free to purchase tickets here.

Follow @cityofthesun on their social media networks!

Written by: @laura_zirkle
Photography by: @shawnsolophotography






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September 8, 2015