Sunmonks is a band based in the foothills of Northern California in the outskirts of Auburn, a gold rush era mining town that’s now home in equal measures to survivalists, pot growers and suburb dwellers. Vocalists Geoffrey CK and Alexandra Steele met in 2005, but didn’t start the band until 2012 which gave them plenty of time to develop a fervid music philosophy and aesthetic. Initially the band was composed of just the two of them using a loop pedal to flesh out the arrangements of Geoffrey’s songs that saw him playing guitar, keys, bass, percussion and trumpet. Growing up in the foothills devoid of much of a scene, the LPs in their parents’ console stereos formed their initial influences: Wings, Talking Heads, Nat King Cole, Earth Wind & Fire, Tower of Power, Elton John and The Eurhythmics were early musical touchstones.
In 2013 Julian Loy and Dave Middleton joined the Sunmonks on drums and bass respectively and the looping pedal was retired. Their first EP, In a Desert of Plenty, finds the 4-piece band finding their own footing with a quirky blend of melodic pop and classic R & B which is freely reminiscent of a time when horn sections were more prevalent than computers. The band is currently working on a full length album to be released in 2015.