It’s impossible to boil Sunny War’s music down to a fixed genre or style: her repertoire spans everything along the spectrum, from country blues to punk. The latest video release for her song, “If It Wasn’t Broken”, offers a taste of what’s to come on Sunny’s upcoming album, With The Sun, set for release on February 2. The lyrics Sunny, born Sydney Lyndella Ward, writes aren’t short of nuance, either. Some of the themes in her music pay homage to her nomadic childhood and address issues including alcoholism, identity, and love, accompanied by her distinct guitar-plucking and serene vocals.
“I feel like I am a blues guitarist, but I don’t think I’m a blues artist,” she told NPR last week, when they premiered the video for her lead single. “I only use the scales and techniques that I know, and the only time I was trained in music was on blues guitar. I really love Elizabeth Cotten and Mississippi John Hurt.”
These blues notes come through in the video, and most of the warmly-toned shots linger on Sunny’s pensive yet carefree facial expressions and document snippets of her on the Venice Beach boardwalk, where she’s spent around 7 years performing and drawing reverential attention from passersby. “If It Wasn’t Broken” is a soulful tune, where Sunny indulges listeners in her process of working through a freshly broken heart. In it, she sings, “You’ll leave them high and dry / They’ll leave you blue / But the love you shared is worth the world and more / That’s why you care, that’s what you stood for.”