Arts Desk

One Track Mind: Sunwolf, “Sun & Sea”

Standout Track: No. 3, “Sun & Sea,” an all-too-brief breakup tune in which band leader Rob “Kalani” Tifford channels a bit of the snarl and immediacy of late ’70s New York rockers like Jim Carroll or Johnny Thunders. “The sun and the sea are never gonna love you like I do,” Tifford hollers, but it’s obvious the song is more important than the relationship ever was.

Musical Motivation: Tifford has been involved with the business end of the music industry for years—he’s helped run D.C. labels ESL Music, Gypsy Eyes, and Fort Knox Recordings—and says the wild side of his vocals partly springs from his exploits with Thievery Corporation and other groups. “You learn a lot about life, and a lot about people, and see a lot of crazy shit, do a lot of crazy shit,” he says, “and it doesn’t hurt because you’re 25 years old.”

No Turntables, Please: Sunwolf is currently a trio, with Tifford singing and playing bass, Tom Bunnell (Felt Letters) on guitar, and Danny Bentley (Owls and Crows) on drums. The simplicity is more in line with Tifford’s core tastes than ESL’s DJ-oriented sounds, which he says were “so foreign to me” when he got involved with Thievery Corporation’s scene in the mid-’90s. “This is what I originally wanted to do ... but you start working with this label and managing and running it, traveling the world and doing all this shit, and you’re like, ‘Whoa, how did this happen?’”

Listen to the track after the jump.

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