Where: Tree Machine Records
Early last month we practically sustained a boner for the new single from Bonfire John called Everybody. Not only did we enjoy seeing Tree Machine Records releasing music again but we very much enjoyed the chillaxed wonder that allowed guitars to ring out, melodies to play as they please and guitar solos to tear through it all like a defiant strike of lightning. These days the project’s new album College is out, and if you’ve ever been to college, or want to believe you have, then this is the album for you. Bonfire John’s newest effort talks about all kinds of experiences of college, and it’s laid back atmosphere is something that accompanies it perfectly.
The album opens up with One Night, which eases everything into place with the most casual introduction comprised of a cough and a hurried “heywhatsupitsnewalbum” setting the tone for some lazily strummed guitar and vocals that bare no sense of urgency. It’s a slow moving track that makes it easy to hear all of the harmonies and melodies, and it does have a nice amount of build up in instrumentation and emotion too. It’s a nice way to kick off an album that is very much anticipated in the EHS household.
My Name Is Bill is a wonderful little tune about not giving a shit with it’s sunny acoustic/electric guitar riffs and simple drum beat laying down a foundation for Bill (and Jill) to introduce himself a billion times while also performing a couple sweet licks. Wouldn’t You Now takes things into a more serious direction as this track throws down a couple emotive chords and vocal harmonies that are dragged out enough to realise that there’s a certain longing that emits from it. The act of longing is a terrible, drawn-out process that usually ends in heartbreak, or usually comes as a perk of post-heartbreak. I think I feel it now, and this song captures it perfectly.
College excels at taking everything great about Everybody and expanding it throughout it’s material. The laid back atmosphere is present throughout, and Bonfire John’s talent at creating sweet melodies shine on all of the tracks, particularly in ones such as To The Light and You Haven’t Got To Leave. It also perfectly illustrates a certain kind of directionlessness and instead concentrates on certain parts such as growing up, losing things, changing and even things like alcohol and hangovers which all in all envelopes the experience of going through college life. It really is a weird middle ground between being too young to do something and being too old to not have responsibilites, and all of it is documented and supported wonderfully here on this album.
Bonfire John’s second album is a catchy, easy listening experience that is immediately engaging on the ears sonically and emotionally. It has everything going for it that allows it to sit on the right side of thought-provoking, whether that’s by talking about hangovers or growing up, it really is ridiculously easy to get wrapped up in it, and it just sounds incredible. I love this album.
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