TRACKS: The Shacks – ‘Smile Now, Cry Later’/Brainstory – ‘Runaway’: crate-diggin’ deliciousness

BROOKLYN-based crate-diggers’ delight Big Crown Records has been keeping searchers of the groove content since 2016. 

A couple of years back, it compiled and curated the music of Sunny & The Sunliners, a chicano soul act outta San Antonio, TX, who began charming the world with their ‘brown-eyed soul’ in 1964 under the aegis of bandleader Sunny Ozuna. 

And the compilation, named for that musical concept, proved a real hit not just out in the shops, but within the label’s roster as well. Big Crown’s artists adored it.

A run of original album reissues and five repressed 7″s later, and the label has released a covetable 7” featuring its own artists taking on Sunny’s gorgeous brand of open, loose-limbed soul. 

On the A, The Shacks bring their beautiful bedroom-whisper girl group psych to bear on the Sunliners’ “Smile Now, Cry Later”. They take it out for a summer-hazed picnic with The Cookies, Claudine Longet and The Free Design, in the valley of the dolls. Wonderful.

On the flip, San Bernadino’s Brainstory offer a gorgeous rendition of teen-love classic “Runaway”, full of echo and space and timelessness.

The 7” serves as a taster for Big Crown’s forthcoming in-house roster covers LP of Sunny & The Sunliners songs, due later in the autumn. 

If you have any kind of penchant for languid, timeless soul with a little psych twist, come autumn you’ll be down at the neighbourhood record emporium, queuing with me. 

Order the 7” of The Shacks’ “Smile Now, Cry Later”/ Brainstory’s “Runaway” here.

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