Artist: Bonny Doon
Record Label: Woodsist
Recommended Tracks: Track 3 “I Am Here (I Am Alive)”, Track 5 “Where Do You Go?”
The four member band Bonny Doon released their album Longwave on March 23, 2018. It’s a relaxing collection of songs that fit nicely under the folk rock genre. In total, the album has ten songs, each exuding a dreamy warmth that feels inviting. There’s a sweet simplicity to each track that makes them blend cohesively as a whole. Bonny Doon made the instrumentation of strings and drums the forefront of their sound with the vocals complimenting the laid back tones. Longwave creates a relaxing atmosphere that makes it easy to imagine listening to this album while going on a scenic road trip or playing in the background while doing homework. Lead singers and guitarists Bill Lennox and Bobby Colombo showcase their ability to sound effortless when they sing, adding to the already serene mood that the instruments establish. Joshua Brooks (bass guitar) and Jake Kmiecik (drums) help set a solid foundation for each track with melodic drum beats and low bass tones.
There are many notable highlights from Longwave since it is such a well orchestrated album instrumentally and lyrically. Despite their laidback sound, Bonny Doon does not come across as lazy or underwhelming. Rather than incorporating the use of autotune and overly produced engineering, the band tends to lean toward a more stripped down approach when making their music. Two songs that stand out on this record are track three “I Am Here (I Am Alive)” and track five “Where Do You Go?”
Track three starts off with a smooth introduction coming from soft guitar strumming before being met by vocals from Lennox. Lyrically, the song is full of nature imagery as well as acknowledgment of one’s existence. It establishes the themes of introspection and wanting to find one’s place in the world. The song is almost five and half minutes long and listening to it feels like a journey in itself as you begin to visualize the imagery that Lennox sings about. This creates a parallel to the internal journey of someone trying to find their way.
Track five fades in with mellow guitars and a slow and repetitive drum beat. It’s the shortest song on the album as it is only two minutes long, but even within that short amount of time, Bonny Doon manages to demonstrate their talent. It should be noted that this song is essentially the same two lines repeated with breaks in between allowing the guitar to shine. “Where Do You Go?” gives off a melancholy yet calming mood that leaves you wanting more because it’s so dreamy, and the overall simplicity of the song is soothing.
Longwave by Bonny Doon demonstrates the idea that ornamentation isn’t necessary when it comes to creating art. Their authentic approach and overall skills as musicians carry enough weight to make their music really nice to listen to. Anyone who is interested in a change of pace in the music they gravitate toward will enjoy this album.