City of the Sun popped up on a Spotify playlist in the LI Pulse office last summer and we collectivity fell in love. The New York-based band of guitarists John Pita and Avi Snow and percussionist Zach Para play melodic, indie acoustic music that makes you want to stop what you’re doing and listen.
They’ve had a busy year. Their new album, to the sun and all the cities in between, was released in March, they appeared at SXSW and most recently opened for Charles Bradley at his Beacon Theatre show. I caught up with City of the Sun as they prepared to head out on tour to talk about the new album, where we can hear them live this summer and the song that recently made the Spotify Viral 50 list.
Long Island Pulse: You have a new album out, what will those familiar with City of the Sun notice about it?
City of the Sun: to the sun and all the cities in between is a record that expresses our experience performing live anywhere and everywhere over the past two years. We recorded it entirely live in an old church, using binaural microphones so it really gives the experience of being there. It’s like you’re actually sitting four feet in front of us.
Pulse: Can you describe one or two songs that are really special to you on the album and why?
City of the Sun: “Everything” has always been a favorite, it’s a song about being free and finally doing what you want in life. “Brothers” is also a song we all love, that one is about the bond between family and friends.
Pulse: “Everything” recently made the Spotify Viral 50 list, were you surprised by the success?
City of the Sun: It’s always a great surprise when something like this happens, but we always believed in this song.
Pulse: Speaking of the Internet, how do you think social media and streaming services have affected music? Is it harder or easier now?
City of the Sun: We can only speak to the now part of that question, but Spotify has helped us to spread our music to new people all around the world. Whether they’re finding us through playlists or following up on a friend’s recommendation, people are finding us and we’re looking forward to seeing them live sometime soon.
Pulse: Who are you listening to that we should too?
City of the Sun: We love the Deep Focus playlist on Spotify—even before they added us to it!
Pulse: What’s next for you guys?
City of the Sun: Going on tour and playing for all the people who have discovered us! We just got added to the Firefly, which is the first big festival we’ll be playing at. We’re also opening for Balkan Beat Box in June at Irving Plaza here in NYC, a Summer Residency at Surf Lodge in Montauk, and lots of surprises we’ll hopefully be able to share soon!