In advance of the release of her next single from her album OVERNIGHT LOWS , singer-songwriter SUNNY OZELL has shared the first in a series of video shorts that merge her love of music, history, and travel. Titled the “Church Sessions,” the three videos were filmed at centuries-old churches throughout the UK early this year. With the recent shelter at home global lockdown, SUNNY is currently planted firmly in Los Angeles, where she and her husband were recently featured on Graham Norton’s UK show. Watch a clip here.
For the first video (out now) in the “Church Sessions” series, SUNNY gives us a virtual tour of Saint Mary’s church in Bloxham, West Oxdfordshire. SUNNY offers a brief history lesson along with an acoustic performance of “Downstream” from her OVERNIGHT LOWS album, live in the soaring nave of an ancient house of worship. Watch the clip here.
“Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved old buildings,” SUNNY explains. “Though growing up on the West Coast didn’t afford for much in the way of ‘old,’ Virginia City (a Nevada silver ‘boom town’ from the late 19th century) was about as old as anything I’d seen. So, when I first started spending regular amounts of time in the UK, I relished the wealth of centuries-old historical buildings and dove headlong into studying them. In particular, the church architecture of ancient England swept me off my feet.
“I’m not remotely a religious person, but these houses of worship, where parishioners have gathered and marked their lives for hundreds and hundreds of years, hold so many treasures to be discovered. All the applied arts of the medieval era can be found in fragments here and there, and I’m especially interested in the bits that survived the sweeping destructions of the Reformation. Studying history is a pastime I find immensely calming; it is an escapist pursuit, but it also brings comfort when you find that fellow human beings from centuries past wanted the same things we do–love, freedom, selfhood, etc. When I connect with medieval church buildings, I’m also connecting with the human lives who have come and gone through the doors. It seemed perfectly sensible to bridge two of my passions–music and history–in these short videos. Americana songs and medieval ecclesiastical architecture may seem a strange marriage, but they both act as ‘records’ of human life and it was truly a delight to sing in these majestic spaces.”
OVERNIGHT LOWS gleams with engaging melodies and intelligent wordplays, performed with a sophisticated fluency in pop, jazz, soul and Americana dialects. In SUNNY‘s words, OVERNIGHT LOWSreflects the soul and simplicity of her passion for such inspirations as Bonnie Raitt, David Byrne, Cassandra Wilson, and Aretha Franklin. Players on the album include Jay Bellerose (Robert Plant, Aimee Mann, Alison Krauss), Tyler Chester (George Ezra, Maddison Cunningham), Andy Hess (The Black Crowes, David Byrne), Adam Levy (Norah Jones, Roseanne Cash), and Rich Hinman (Sara Bareilles). The album was recorded at Village Studios in Los Angeles, and engineered by Mike Piersante.