Posts Tagged ‘Longwave’

Bonny Doon Share Pastoral Video for Their <i>Longwave</i> Title Track

Breezy Detroit rockers Bonny Doon, who will release their second full-length, Longwave, on March 23rd, make the sort of effortless, lo-fi indie that both you and your dad can love.

For their second full-length (and debut on Woodsist Records), the Detroit folk-rock quartet stopped thinking too much and just went to the beach instead. Last month, we dug their earnest “A Lotta Things” single, and now they’re sharing a pastoral new video for their record’s title track. When Bonny Doon began sketching out a strategy to follow up their self-titled debut, they knew they wanted to do things differently. “I think everything’s always a reaction to how you did it the last time and what’s exciting you at the moment,” says Bobby Colombo, who splits vocal and guitar duties in the band with Bill Lennox. While their first record was a strong arrival, Colombo and Lennox characterize its creation as long and arduous. So the band snuck away from their native Detroit and rented a house on the beach in Northern Michigan, recording their next album in just five days, aiming for a looser, more instinct-driven process. “We were just thinking, ‘First thought, best thought’ with this one,” Colombo explains.

The result is Longwave, an album Bonny Doon might still have made if they weren’t holed up on a beach house, but probably not. Delicate and contemplative, the ten new songs feel very much like a product of their recording process—while Bonny Doon weren’t necessarily intent on tearing up the playbook, this record is still a totally different beast from its predecessor. Longwave embraces the stylings of Bonny Doon folk rock with some alt-country sprinklings but the band’s more spontaneous approach lends it a scrappiness that feels fresh. Rather than rein these songs in to the point of suffocation, the band allows them to breathe, rambling and untangling themselves in unexpected ways.

The homemade, found-footage vibe of “Long Wave” is rustic, charming, and the perfect visual accompaniment for the track’s calming influence. BRB, finding a hilltop in nature to roll down this weekend. in fact, Bonny Doon sound like they’re gunning to be spiritual successors to Silver Jews and Neil Young, with a pinch of Summerteeth-era Wilco thrown in. It’s because of this mood that the record never comes across as overly self-serious. The title track, which opens the album, ends in a knowing refrain, zen-like in its conviction: “You are who you’re supposed to be.” It’s delivered with the confidence of a band that believes it, and is comfortable enough in their skin to act accordingly.

The paradigm of live music is so old and stagnant, Colombo laments. “We’re interested in and would like to figure out ways to push us further… We have sort of an unhinged live show sometimes. We play the songs almost like they’re falling apart, but they never really do.” Bonny Doon’s Longwave is out March 23 via Woodsist.

The Band:

Bobby Colombo (guitar/vocals), Bill Lennox (guitar/vocals), Joshua Brooks (bass), and Jake Kmiecik (drums)

Bonny Doon’s Longwave is out March 23rd via Woodsist Records.

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Arriving in the early months of 2017, Bonny Doon’s self-titled debut was a warm introduction to the Detroit quartet for many. Hazy and bright, the album’s woozy melodies and swirling webs of summery guitar textures were easily ingested as low-key slacker pop, blissfully awash in lo-fi sensibilities and dreamy ambiance. But the nonchalant breeziness belied a serious attention to songcraft that beckoned careful listening, and hinted at depths yet unexplored. Lo and behold, before the ink was even dry on the first record, work had already begun on its follow-up “Longwave,” a conscious about-face from the sonic experimentation of the first album, and a journey inward.

Opting for spontaneity and simplicity over the exploration of layers and textures that defined the first record, the band architected an incredibly intimate sound for these new songs. The album was tracked with minimal overdubs or production flourishes, constructing a frame that is spare and understated. The songs on Longwave amble through moonlit fields of melancholy guitar leads and self-reflection, the collection unfolding almost as one uninterrupted conversation with self. The session aimed to capture the band at their essence. With the superfluous stripped away, a gentle but steadfast spiritual core is revealed as the backbone of Bonny Doon’s cosmic American music

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Bill Lennox- vocals and guitar
Bobby Colombo- vocals and guitar
Jake Kmiecik- drums
Joshua Brooks- bass

Released March 23rd, 2018

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Bonny Doon leaped into the conscious of many early last year, with the release of their subtle and beautiful debut album. The Michigan quartet impressed with their hazy melodies and sonic exploration, yet they were already thinking about what would be next. The answer will come next month, with the release of their second album, “Longwave”, described the band as, “a conscious about-face…and a journey inward”.

This week Bonny Doon have shared the second snapshot of Longwave, in the shape of new single A Lotta Things. The track showcases the band’s change of musical direction, gone are the rich sonic textures, and to the fore is letting the songwriting speak for itself. The track is a stripped back, and subtle affair, just entwined guitar-lines, a steady pulsing drum beat and an unprocessed, gorgeously honest vocal line. There’s a touch of Ultimate Painting to the shuffling churn of the guitar lines, while the vocal has all the easy charm of A. Savage or Kevin Morby. It’s a brave move to follow a successful debut by ripping up the rule book and creating something entirely different, yet by the sound of this Bonny Doon were absolutely right to do so.

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Longwave, improves on the homespun charm that made their debut so inviting. The leap is partially due to the fact that the band is more confident now as their debut’s songs were just the first songs Lennox ever wrote, but as Lennox explains it also comes from a more cohesive vision. He says, “The whole goal of this new album was to try and capture the band’s sound at its essence with everything stripped down and vulnerable. We were trying to just capture the sound of the band in a room. We were happy to just kind of bear more of ourselves and be more open.”

Written of over the course of a trip to a lake house in Northern Michigan, and recorded at Key Club Studios downstate, the mesmerizing songs on Longwave are patient enough to ruminate on a musical idea without meandering. It’s this lack of urgency that has given the band the lyrical space to perfectly capture twenty-something malaise. Though the previously shared single “I Am Here (I Am Alive)” found Lennox frustrated, “Is there something missing I can’t tell / Is there more I can’t see,” Bonny Doon’s latest, “A Lotta Things,”.

Longwave is out March 23rd via Woodsist Records.

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