by Abbie Jones (@abbiejones11)
Philly-based quartet, Boon, has pleased the music world with their newest album, All of Us Laughing. Following a series of singles and EPs, their latest features the band’s familiarly sweet sound, hinged on heavy contemplation and an open-hearted sense of reinvention.
Having cultivated their sound over the past year, the band made up of Brendan Principato, Drew Sher, Andy Senken, Dan Lynch and Jesse Paller have been working on the album over the past months, combining careful lyricism with soft, glowing instrumentation. Over the years, Boon have grown their sound from the seed of tender, heart-strung melodies into something more nuanced, more expansive in instrumentation and feeling.
The opening track “Fence” boasts the album’s loveliest vocal melody, and it’s strange melancholy serves as a portal to the rest of the album’s murky psychological excavations. Over the guitar jangle and bursting chants, Principato underlines that sudden shift from anxiety to hopefulness. The song’s energy builds from opening chants to its final crescendoing chorus, exclaiming, “I can’t hold on/ I can’t have it both ways/ keep the light on/ I'm just trying to stay.” It’s an infectious tune powered by the outsized feeling of wanting to make a change — loud chants and heavy, cathartic drums carry it out, making you dissolve into the song itself.
“Dead Dog Dead Cat” is meandering and atmospheric, echoing the broader climate of the album. Still, it features a strong driving melody that delivers a sustained feeling of relief. The track starts out serene with the hushed energy of a keyboard and breezy voice floating above. It’s soothing guitar melodies are instantly pleasing to the ear, with its embellishments of sonic elements that feel like swimming at ease with your thoughts. It’s a meditative song on coming to terms with the past and welcoming a new start.
“Kokohome” is a hooky head-nodder that can only temporarily veil the intimacy of its lyrical content. It’s a testament to friendship and re-locating the emotional support of those closest to you in times of need. There’s tenderness in his tone, as he describes relinquishing a past sense of self, “you try so hard to be yourself and lend it in as someone else.” From here, the song flowers into lush instrumentation as Principato discovers the comfort in being surrounded by your closest friends. He comes to a realization, “No artificial piece of mind, be yourself and run real... to have your friends is to be whole,” he howls. There’s tenderness in his tone, but eventually, the bright melodic drift is overtaken by a chilling, half-human shapeshifting voice. Turns like this lend the record’s ethereal, yet eerily unsettled emotive hue that makes the listening so rewarding.
Boon’s sound is enormous and embracing, the type of music that can only be created through tight relationships, and makes for an inspirational—if not introspective—listen. Like most of Boon’s songs, you’ll find yourself singing right along to All of Us Laughing with infectious hooks that have the capacity to stick like crazy glue.