Arriving in the early months of 2017, Bonny Doon’s self-titled debut was a warm introduction to the band 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. But the nonchalant breeziness belied a serious attention to songcraft, 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. In the spring of 2016 the band decamped to a remote part of Michigan, nesting near the evocatively named Mystic Lake, and spent a week uprooting former approaches and reinventing their sound anew.
Moving into more improvisational territory, they wrote quickly and from the hip, using repetitive chord structures to aid in spontaneous generation. Attracted to the session’s spacious arrangements and unaffected sounds, they immediately went into the studio to capture the material. Working for the first time outside of home recording settings with engineer Bill Skibbe and longtime friend and collaborator Shelley Salant, the experience allowed for a focused concentration on bringing the intrinsic spirit of the group to the surface.
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 in the same way as the twilight-tinted third Velvet Underground album or the rusty glow of Bill Fay’s Time Of Last Persecution. These sessions 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.Long Wave
A Lotta Things
I Am Here (I Am Alive)
Take Me Away
Where Do You Go?
Saw A Light
Try To Be
Part Of Me
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