Over palm-muted guitars, clean-cut arpeggios, and thrumming bass, Juan Antonio Lopez sings “sometimes I know I think too much, and things get harder every day.”
Lopez is no stranger to difficult times. In a short span of time, family members passed away, his two-year old niece was suffering from a brain tumor (from which she eventually recovered), his university music professor ridiculed his compositions, his longtime band broke up, and his girlfriend moved away. The title of his previous biography was literally “Sofa City Sweetheart: A Tradition of Failure.” In other words: there were many instances in which Lopez could’ve – perhaps even should’ve – given up music. But he couldn’t.
The L.A.-based solo project Sofa City Sweetheart is the centerpiece around which Lopez shapes his masterworks. Writing, arranging, recording, and engineering all the music himself, Lopez tangles together his spectrum of childhood influences into stories of acceptance. Over layers of gentle guitar sit toe-tapping melodies and intermingling harmonies that merge art and feeling, spinning stories that tie the persistent tragedies in his own life to the stuck-to-it-iveness that’s often required in any contemporary artist.
New single Stop The Thinking is a bounding elegy for a long-distance relationship and the sensitivities ingrained in Lopez’s musical character. Speaking to Lopez’s talent in storytelling and songwriting, “Stop the Thinking” captures perhaps most accurately the essence of Sofa City Sweetheart’s milieu: deeply accessible yet hugely artistic, telling grand stories in ways with which anyone can engage.
“Juan’s quiet yet devastating voice conjures images of Elliott Smith and John Lennon.”
“…decadent, harmonious pop of the highest order. Whether accompanied by strings, piano, or both, this promising balladeer tugs at all the right heartstrings and possesses more potential than most of the artists I’ve critiqued in this issue combined.”
–The Big Takeover
“California dreamin’ acoustic-pop all took up in Byrdsian vocal harmonies, Brian Wilson big-band arrangements and Elliott Smith melancholy. The project of sun kiss’d songwriter, performer, producer and sound engineer J. Lopez.” —NXNE
“Reminds me of the elegance and eloquence of the late 1960s.”
The live band features the lovely and talented:
“You need a mess of help to stand alone.”
— Brian Wilson/Jack Rieley