Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sounds of Sonos

By Meredith Deliso

Traveling on the road is easy when you’re an a capella group. Especially when there’s six of you.

Next week, Los Angeles-based sextet Sonos will do just that as it travels across the country for a show at the Brooklyn Public Library on Oct. 7.

Don’t expect your grandfather’s barbershop at this intimate engagement, unless that includes renditions of Bjork and Radiohead songs. This group gets its kicks from reinterpreting modern songs for multiple harmonies. And no instruments.

“There’s something organic and mysterious about singing a cappella,” said Paul Peglar, one of three male vocalists in Sonos. “It’s beautiful and intangible. It could’ve been centuries earlier with a piece of classical music, but we’re taking something from last year and making it just as haunting and interesting.” 

The group reinvents such pop friendly fare as the Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back” with a moody, trip-hop rendition, and Sonos’s multiple voices work well in translating the blips of Radiohead’s “Everything in Its Right Place” or pulling out the thick harmonies of Fleet Foxes’ “White Winter Hymnal.” Other songs in a diverse repertoire include Bon Iver’s “Re:Stacks” and Rufus Wainwright’s “Oh What a World.”

The a capella group goes off book even more with the use of an effects pedal during live performances, adding even more layers to their textured sound.

“We do our best to defy stereotypes,” said vocalist Jessica Freedman.

Mission accomplished.

Sonos at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch [Grand Army Plaza at Eastern Parkway in Park Slope, (718) 230-2211], Oct. 7 at 7 pm. Free. For info, visit


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