Reno-based soul outfit The Sextones — siblings Mark Sexton (vocals, guitar) and Christopher Sexton (piano), with Alexander Korostinsky (bass), and Daniel Weiss — are all childhood friends, and as a result their musical chemistry is effortless and forms the foundation of the band’s longevity and creative process.
Over the years, the band’s members have also been able to channel their creativity into other acclaimed projects — Mark Sexton and Korostinsky collaborate together in the cinematic soul project Whatitdo Archive Group, which released their critically applauded full-length debut The Black Stone Affair through Italian purveyors of funk Record Kicks back in 2021. Weiss has played with soul jazz outfit Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio. These forays into other projects has not only allowed the members to flex their creative muscle individually but it has also strengthened their collective songwriting chops.
The Reno-based soul quartet signed to Record Kicks, who will release their Kelly Finnigan-produced sophomore album Love Can’t Be Borrowed on September 29, 2023. The album reportedly is a new chapter in the band’s story and sees the band attempting to scale new heights and plumb deeper emotional depths. Drawing from their upbringing steeped in the classic soul sound, the band’s Mark Sexton and Alexander Korostinsky knew they wanted the album to highlight their old-school bonafides while leaving room for innovations. The pair and their bandmates found that balance during marathon recording sessions at Finnigan’s San Rafael, CA-based Transistor Sound Studio.
So far I’ve managed to write about two of Love Can’t Be Borrowed‘s singles:
- “Without You,” an uptempo, two-step inducing jam built around playful call-and-response vocals, twinkling keys, reverb-soaked funk guitar and a locked-in propulsive rhythm section paired with an incredibly catchy hook. While “Without You” sees the Reno-based soul outfit deftly balancing an old-school attention to craft, it’s a sweet, declaration of love, devotion and profound gratitude that’s simultaneously a contented sigh and an acknowledgement that love — much like anything else in our lives — takes hard work.
- “Beck & Call,” a slow-burning, classic Quiet Storm-inspired ballad built around a lush, glistening arrangement, Mark Sexton’s achingly tender falsetto paired with the band’s unerring, deliberate attention to old-school craftsmanship and musicianship. Much like its immediate predecessor, the song is a sweet and earnest declaration of love, devotion and vulnerability that you rarely hear these days.
Love Can’t Be Borrowed‘s fourth and latest single, album title track, the mid-tempo “Love Can’t Be Borrowed,” is built around a Motown-era/Holland-Dozier-Holland attention to craftsmanship and musicianship paired with seemingly fueled by lived-in, personal experience. The song thematically speaks of the personal and moral expectations of a rocky, uncertain relationship, with the narrator being uncertain if he should say or if he should go.