Sugar Loaf Walker was born in the spring of 2009. Writing music in Bethnal Green in London’s East End, I was looking to create an instrumental guitar sound, captured in melodies inspired by England. The Sugar Loaf Walk alleyway next to my flat gave the sound its name, and the first song I wrote was to become the first track on this album, The Late Summer. Over the coming months, I collaborated remotely with my brother, Arjun, in the US, who provided the imaginative bass guitar throughout this album. Finishing with some rudimentary drum tracks, I selected the songs, and made some CDs. Inspired by my mother-in-law Penny’s charming car license plate B9 PNY, I named the demo Benign Penny, and shared the CDs with family and friends. As time moved on, I also moved on to other things, and left Sugar Loaf Walker behind.

Fast forward to 2020 and the chaos of the pandemic gave way to the inertia of lockdown. Now living in Amman, Jordan, I rediscovered the demos while searching on my hard disk. The melodies of the songs inspired me to bring back Sugar Loaf Walker and finish the album, properly this time. The issue of the rudimentary drum tracks was solved through collaboration with Vinay, an excellent session drummer based in Chennai, my hometown in India where I grew up. The tracks were then remixed by Kevin, an incredible sound engineer based out of Portland, USA. Now I had a remote team bringing my original demos to life. I carefully picked ten songs and put them together in a way in which the listener could get lost.

The album title, Benign Penny, now has a new and deeper meaning. We sadly lost my wonderful mother-in-law in 2010. However, my daughter was born in 2015, and took on the name Penny, keeping her grandmother’s spirit with her. The album cover, is a photograph of my daughter Penny when we lived in Bangkok, caught reaching out to the Fender Stratocaster that you can hear throughout this record. I hope you enjoy this musical journey.

Dedicated to Penelope Ruth Corbett and Penelope Lakshmi Ayer

All compositions by Sugar Loaf Walker
JAKE NAUGLE - drums on Strange Land
VINAY RAMAKRISHNAN - drums (all other tracks)
Mixed and Mastered by Kevin Carafa
© 2021 Sugar Loaf Walker


Review by music writer Dave Franklin

Interview for The Big TakeOver


eXcess Mag Review (German)