The excitement in their voices was almost tangible. Back in May 2017, blues-rock trio The First Sun met up with me to talk about their then-new project. It was the group’s shared passion. “We spend an awful lot of time laughing,” Alethia “Aly” Prudence said, cracking jokes about how a two-hour practice would turn into a nightlong hangout. Now, nearly a year later and six months after Prudence’s death, The First Sun’s debut LP, Come Back Home, is being released. It’s Prudence’s last recorded work with the band, her basslines dancing deeply within each song.
“I just want everybody to hear this record,” frontman Zach Saucier says. “Not only is Aly speaking on another plane through her bass playing, but the messages in this record are so relevant to all the hurt that we as artists are perpetually going through.”
The release show, April 14 at Cornish Pasty, will also feature Dusty Sunshine (for which Prudence also played bass). Aki Ishihara now plays bass for The First Sun. “It’s about starting over. It’s about healing—and Aly loved that,” says Saucier, who wrote the track “Old Friend Oklahoma” about his friend and former Slow to Surface bandmate Stephen Penhall, whom Saucier also lost to suicide. But the event, which doubles as a fundraiser for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, is foremost a celebration of life, Saucier says. “Just because we’re in the artistic community doesn’t mean we’re not prone to depression. We’re all fragile. We’re all loved, and we all love very hard.”
THE FIRST SUN with Dusty Sunshine, Glass Pools, Jesse Pino & The Vital Signs, Purejoypeople. April 14, 8 p.m., $10 donation. Cornish Pasty Co., 702-862-4538.