Why Bonnie - 90 in November Music Album Reviews

Why Bonnie - 90 in November Music Album Reviews
Led by singer-songwriter Blair Howerton, the debut from the sun-baked indie band sounds cozy but yearns for open spaces. 

Nothing underscored the value of space like the pandemic. This must have been tough for recent city transplants like Blair Howerton of the indie rock quartet Why Bonnie, who’d left Texas for New York City right before the pandemic. The world’s cultural capital loses much of its allure when suddenly the world has shrunk to the size of your modest walk-up. 

It’s no wonder why so much of Why Bonnie’s debut album 90 in November, which Howerton wrote in her Brooklyn apartment, pines for blues skies, blanketing heat, and aimless road trips of her youth in Texas. On “Galveston,” she revisits a childhood vacation attraction barely touched by time: “Candyland beaches/Water too salty to swim/Passed all of the dance halls and dive-ins/Looks just the same as it did back then.” On the sun-baked title track, she recalls cruising, “pressing my luck with a $2 fill up.” That same luck runs out on “Nowhere LA,” where a road trip goes awry: “Louisiana in a broken car,” she narrates, “at the whim of a kind stranger with a crowbar.” The relationship she documents in that song doesn’t fare any better than the car.

Howerton’s an economical lyricist who can paint vivid scenes with just a few strokes, and the melancholy pangs of her voice cut through the music’s dreamy haze just enough without disrupting the bliss. With their fractured guitars, bleary vocals, and on-and-off twang, Why Bonnie join the growing cluster of bands fusing the raggedy guitars of ‘90s indie rock with the dusky sensibilities of country. There are shades of the lilac-gilded grace of Waxahatchee’s Saint Cloud in the sweetly understated roots of quieter tracks like “Silsbee” and “Superhero,” while the guitar fits of “Sharp Turn” and “Lot’s Wife” conjure the more turbulent stretches of Wednesday’s Twin Plagues, an album that similarly picks at childhood memories through the weary lens of adulthood. 

To the extent they do differentiate themselves from every other band that’s somehow landed on the once-improbable combination of Sheryl Crow by way of Pavement, it’s through sheer warmth: Why Bonnie bank on easy vibes over originality. Guitarist Sam Houdek and keyboardist Kendall Powell blanket these tracks in soft, pillowy tones. The album’s mellow mix, meanwhile, tempers the intensity of these songs’ loud/soft fluctuations. Any harsh edges are more implied than felt.

Despite the pensive lean of Howerton’s lyrics, 90 in November is decidedly a pleasure listen. Why Bonnie recorded it in a small town just off the Gulf Coast, which probably helped lend to its spacious but cozy feel. These songs were born of yearning for the open expanses and leisurely pace of rural Texas. It’s only fitting, then, that Why Bonnie turned them into a record that satiates that craving.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Why Bonnie - 90 in November Music Album Reviews Why Bonnie - 90 in November Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on August 30, 2022 Rating: 5


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