CD Review: Southview – “Sunny Places for Shady People” (Standby Records)

Falling more in line with Brand New’s My Favorite Weapon than most everything else in the pop-punk lexicon, Southview’s sophomore EP Sunny Places for Shady People is a trio of well-crafted acoustic tunes that, while unplugged, succeed in capturing the genre’s passionate spirit. The opening title track delves into a relationship gone awry (‘I’ve drawn the line too many times for me to wait for you to change’) laid atop a bed of lush, intricate guitar plucks, raw emotionality bleeds from “What Did You Expect,” another track that deals with heartbreak (‘So spend your time trying to find all the answers / You’ll have a hard time to find something better’), and the albums standout cut, the closing “Interstate 75,” conjures the desire to hit the crank the stereo, roll down the windows, hit the open road and just leave everything behind thanks to stirring lines like ‘Start the car / Cali’s not that far / And we’ve got enough cash to last us ‘til fall / And back home it always would wither away.’ While it’s just over 10 minutes long, Sunny Places for Shady People manages to be a lot of things – well-written, digestible and, most of all, thoroughly enjoyable.

Grade: B

Go Download: “Interstate 75”