Review: Bonbonvillon’s debut single is moody and strangely comforting

Television's On

We’ve all been there. It’s something-o’clock in the morning and the end credits roll on the final episode of your Netflix binge. You look around with bleary eyes, unsure of what’s real and what’s not, unsure of how you ended up on the couch in the first place. It’s this dark moment in the cycle of escapism that is perfectly captured by self-proclaimed Capetonian bedroom musician Bonbonvillon in his darkly ethereal debut single ‘Television’s on but There’s Nobody Home.’

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Bonbonvillon’s effect-laden voice oozes out, calm and strangely reassuring, like a mad preacher comforting a congregation of heart-broken, sleep-deprived souls as the melodies dance around each other, always flirting with the edge of insanity but never taking the plunge. Notes that appear seemingly out of nowhere and unexpected breaks only add to the underlying sense of madness and keep stagnation at bay in this ode to insomnia.

Bonbonvillon’s first offering is unique in its soundscape and excellent in its delivery, turning a sensation experienced by so many into a comforting sonic journey.

Stream the single here.

Watch the video here.

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It’s More Human Than Usual.

muse-something-human

Muse, A band known for their epic, dystopian sound have taken a step into the intimate unknown. Coming off the back of their mammoth ‘Drones’ world tour they have released a new single called ‘Something Human’ with an accompanying video that could be mistaken as a trailer for a video game (Link below.)

Taking a step away from the dystopian currents that have always run through their music, ‘Something Human’ shows us a more vulnerable side to the band. It’s known by now that extensive touring can take a lot out of musicians and Muse are no exception. It’s a song filled with the exhaustion that can only come after spending months on the road and performing night after night. In that exhaustion is a sense of calm that comes from knowing that soon you’ll be able to rest. “My circuits are blown” says Matt Bellamy matter-of-factly as a gentle pop riff flows around him with the soft strains of a guitar gliding gently on top.

Sounding like a down-played homage to The Police’s ‘Every Breath You Take,’ the song is set on the last stretch back home as the band accepts their “self-imposed” exhaustion while travelling the “ten thousand miles left on the road.” The last ten thousand miles before they can be back with their loved ones. Matt Bellamy and co. manage to create a sonic landscape that perfectly describes the feeling behind the song. Delicacy runs throughout, even in the second verse where the energy picks up it’s still expertly handled before calming down as the song enters the last leg of its journey. A weight gets lifted and replaced by serenity. The long journey is almost over.

Muse took a chance by moving away from their usual landscape and it paid off. What we have here is something that’s honest and affective. It’s not the best song in the world but it achieved what it set out to do. It let us look into a very vulnerable side of the performing world that few people ever really get to see.

Watch the video here.

 

 

 

 

The sun rises on the new Smashing Pumpkins

Solara

Photo credit: The Smashing Pumpkins Youtube channel

The Smashing Pumpkins are back with their classic line-up. Well, almost. There’s still the small issue of the ongoing feud with ex-bassist D’arcy Wretzky. Regardless of that the band have released a brand new track called ‘Solara’ ahead of a tour which begins next month. They have also said that there are seven more tracks which have been recorded and will be released at some during the next year. Whether they are released together or separately remains to be seen. If ‘Solara’ is anything to go by then we are in for a treat.

The song starts with a driving kick-drum beat that lays the platform for a riff that brings images of a post-apocalyptic standoff between rival surviving tribes to mind. There’s tension in the air and it could explode at any moment if there’s no one to regulate it. Billy Corgan comes in with the opening verse like a slightly psychotic general. There’s menace in the opening lines as he orders his legion to ‘burn down the sun.’ The opening guitar riff finds aid in a second guitar that plays the same thing but with more volume and power. The tension rises. A snare drum is added and the tension eases a little bit all before it opens into a sea of power chords peppered with barely restrained drum fills that sound super-human.

This is the way the rest of the song goes as it moves in and out of the apocalypse with acid rain pouring down in some sections. Anger pulsates throughout as it motors to the conclusion. It sounds like something that’s been locked away for way too long and now that it’s free it wants answers. Billy Corgan is on top vocal form as he tries to fight through the fog of unease and pressure-induced entrapment. His voice even holds out as he yells self-affirming mantras at himself near the end of the song. The end chorus feels like it’s even bigger than it was earlier in the song as it revels in the freedom that this reunion has allowed it before ending abruptly. It’s in control and it doesn’t care what you think.

If this is what they sound like as a group of people that hasn’t played a note together in eighteen years then I think we need to hold on to our seats because they may just be warming up to deliver something other-worldly.