The festival will feature more than 175 bands. While about 30% of the bands are from the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area, there will be bands from no less than 20 different states, five from Canada and one each from six non-North American countries.
When the lineup was announced, I only knew about 25 of the bands, but I’ve been doing research. I’ve listened to at least one song from every band on the lineup. Some aren’t for me, but more importantly, I’ve discovered some stuff that I like quite a bit. Today’s band is one of those discoveries.
Boy Friend is a synth-y dream-pop duo from Austin, Texas. Christa Palazzolo and Sarah Brown have been friends for a decade and a half. They were recently in an Austin lo-fi band called Sleep ∞ Over. From what I can ascertain, there were some personal differences within the band, so Palazzolo and Brown set off on their own to form Boy Friend. They released an EP in early 2011, then a 7″ record, and finally their debut album Egyptian Wrinkle early this year. I highly recommend it.
Something that gets thrown around a lot in reference to this band is “sounds like Cocteau Twins”. Another cliché that I hate. I’ve even read one review that called them “the resurrection of Cocteau Twins”. And another that said something to the effect of “if you close your eyes, you can’t tell the difference”. I wouldn’t go that far. I’d say that fans of Cocteau Twins should enjoy Boy Friend, but I wouldn’t even say that Palazzolo sings like Liz Fraser. First of all, that’s hallowed ground. Secondly, it’s lazy and irresponsible to use that cliché. I’ll admit, though, that it’s easy to see that Boy Friend was heavily influenced by early Cocteaus, and by Siouxie, and probably by Kate Bush.
Anyway, here’s today’s song:
“Lazy Hunter” by Boy Friend
I’m really drawn to the gauzy, hazy atmosphere of it. The whole record has that veil of gossamer over it, and that’s one thing that practically guarantees that I’ll be really into it.
Because everything is so flange-y and delay laden, the vocals get buried in the undertow of themselves and the wave of sound over it. They’re not completely obscured, but they’re out of reach anyway. I can’t make sense of much other than
The time you took from me started to finally run its course
I didn’t know the love we had wasn’t your first
The band’s existence is supposed to be because of a breakup, and this album is allegedly a “breakup album”. The “breakup” vibe is loud and clear in those two lines.
The more I listen to this, the more I like it. And I liked it a lot the first time I laid ears on it. On this song, and on the whole album, I’ll recommend a very thorough listening. First on real speakers. Then through good headphones. Then on the speakers again. Louder. It’s a different experience. And very enjoyable, I might add.
You can order a physical copy of the CD from insound here. Order the limited edition pink marble vinyl directly from their UK label Hell Yes Records here, and you’ll get a free exclusive five-track bonus CD featuring a cover of The Cars’ “Drive”. Plus, you’ll get the usual download coupon. I got my digital copy through eMusic here. Any legal downloading place will do. Just buy music.
Boy Friend will be playing Thursday night of the festival. They have the 11pm to midnight slot at Berkeley Cafe. It’s a good bet that you’ll find me there. Come say hello and I’ll buy you a beer.