Longwave is the sophomore album from the Detroit, MI quartet BONNY DOON. Woodsist Records in New York is a fitting home for the record, which comes hot off the heels of their eponymous debut from 2017 on Salinas Records. It’s an impressive collection of material, leaving us just over 40 minutes of summertime-ready tunes, perfect for your next (psychedelic) road trip.
Today (March 23rd) is the official street date for Longwave, an album that’s brimming with sun soaked chords, bright and nasally tones, and distinct vocal pairings that somehow call to mind familiar voices of records past. At times these sounds roll off the wax clean cut and pure – other times they’re sun-kissed and weeping for that warm summer breeze to stick around 365 days a year.
There is nothing extravagant about their instrumentation, yet their sound is lush and breathing with life, crafted with intricate jam sessions such as “Saved.” Its finale is subtle and gentle, yet so deeply uplifting, and most importantly, completely satisfying. Vocals are delivered cool and calmly, sometimes split up between guitarists Bill Lennox and Bobby Colombo. It’s safe to say their voices call to mind the Malkmus’ and Berman’s of early Silver Jews records, all depending what part of Longwave you’re stuck on. “Take Me Away” opens like something from the On Fire days of Galaxie 500, where David Berman took position as the front man with his spoken-word spitting. It’s smooth and relaxed, with just the right amount of oomph from punchy bass and percussion. “Where Do You Go” unfolds with the crackle and haze of an AM radio station, fading in just as mysteriously as it fades out. Rippling guitars are woven beautifully within, rich with piano chords and woozy vocals, resulting in two minutes of purely innocent bliss.
Self-titled album anchor “Long Wave” is an opening you won’t soon forget, wherein we’re promised that time “cares about us all the same.” It’s a comforting sentiment that becomes a theme on an album that’s quickly jumping to the top of the 2018 list. Dueling guitars sway smoothly and converse with each other in a dazzling and glimmering finale, while the bouncing bass line provides a steady foundation through the 6 minute jam. “A Lotta Things” opens with a rugged and nasally twang, perfect for that long Midwestern road trip in July. The infectious vocal hooks and hummable harmonies will quickly leave a mark on your eardrums and you’ll be singing along before you know it.
There’s a powerful psychedelic charge to the instrumentation but it’s never so overbearing that it overshadows their sensible songwriting approach. It goes to show all of this material was carefully calculated and executed to a point where there is no guessing what their plan was. Therefore, Longwave is something to behold and it should not be missed. Listen now.
BUY the LP directly from Woodsist Records
Bonny Doon on Facebook