• By: Katie Hartai

Unleashing Folk ’n’ Roll 

Cloudless, blue skies are drawing nearer for the Toronto band Sun K with the release of their debut album on March 10.

The eight-track collection titled Northern Lies, brings together a combination of folk and rock genres creating a fresh and catchy sound.

“We like to call it folk ’n’ roll because it mixes throwback rock and roll with throwback folk,” lead vocalist and guitarist Kristian Montano explains. “It is a modern blend of the two.”

Also in the band is Stuart Retallack on horns, keyboards and backing vocals, Kevin Michael Butler on strings, guitars and backing vocals, JuHang Sin on bass and Aaron Bravener on drums. The group first started jamming in 2013.

“More or less everyone writes their own parts,” Retallack describes. “It’s really great we have the right people to do that because it’s not always that easy.”

“Especially with five people and seven instruments,” Montano adds. SUN-K-Northern Lies album cover art-2

Northern Lies includes eight tracks produced by Cone McCaslin of Sum 41. His production credits also include work for the Strumbellas and Operation MD.

The album title was named using lyrics borrowed from the piano-driven single New York City Blues. The title not only plays off of the northern lights, it is also about the ups and downs people face throughout their twenties.

“We like to say it is about loss, love, hurt and deception in a time when you are just trying to find your own way,” Montano says.

Retallack explains his favourite track on Northern Lies is Hymn for the Living, One More Day.

“It is not like anything that we have done before and it really gets me emotional,” he says.

Montano agrees. He wrote the song as a hymn about his grandmother passing.

“She is dead, but many more, one more day she is still with us,” he explains as Retallack gives him a slight pat on the back.

It was difficult for me to choose a favourite song from this record—each found me pressing the replay button a few times. Ultimately, I would have to say New York City Blues stands out from the rest. You can listen to it (and then listen again) on the band’s Soundcloud page.

Sun K is promoting Northern Lies with a tour stretching from coast to coast this spring. They played at the Bier Markt in Ottawa on March 5.

“I am really excited to bring our music to some of the smaller towns across Canada,” Retallack mentions. “We are routed in classic Canadian music and I think people outside of the big cities are going to enjoy it.”

Touring seems too good to be true for the young band.

“It is the first time we have ever done this as a real job,” Montano admits. “So what, our job is driving to different cities playing music? That sounds pretty sweet!”

Northern Lies can be purchased on iTunes March 10. Upcoming shows are listed on their website.