On their latest single ‘Athlete’ Austin four-piece Why Bonnie offers an explosive fusion of fuzzy, grunge guitars, psych-tinged melodies and crystalline vocals. Ahead of releasing their new EP Voice Box tomorrow, Why Bonnie talks us through five tracks that have inspired their sound.
Fronted by Blair Howerton, Why Bonnie first came to the fore with their In Water EP released on the ever-excellent Sports Day Records, followed by Nightgown last year. The upcoming EP sees the band further crystallise their dreamy blend of resonant synth-pop and hazy grunge-rock. The second single from the new release, ‘Athlete’ fluctuates from soft vocals and resplendent, reverb-drenched guitars to flurries of driving basslines and full-blown fuzz, embellished with cosmic synth melodies and outbursts of strident strings. Speaking on the single the band express “‘Athlete’ is about the frustration of not being able to keep up with the “team” and learning to laugh when you fumble”.
From Angel Olsen to The Lemonheads, get to know Why Bonnie In Five…
“Lights Out” by Angel Olsen
Angel will always be one of my biggest inspirations. I love that she hasn’t been afraid to experiment with so many different sounds in her career while still being anchored in her own element. As far as vocalists go, I don’t think it gets any better than Angel. This song in particular has gotten me through some really dark times. The lyric “No one’s gonna hear it the same as it’s said/ No one’s gonna listen to it straight from your head” has become a personal mantra for me. It reminds me that as long as you’re staying true to yourself, then you’re on the right path.
“Mythological Beauty” by Big Thief
The lyrics of this song melt me into a sentimental little puddle every time. They’re so poignant and honest and I love how she paints such a vivid story. I also love how she oscillates her voice between soft huskiness and powerful shrillness. Something about it feels very primal and human to me.
“Clay Pigeons” by Blaze Foley
Being from Texas, this song always reminds me of home. Of all the great Texas country singers, Blaze Foley is my favorite. His voice is so rich and husky, and so very Texan. This song is a great example of how his lyrics are sometimes hilarious and sometimes heartbreakingly soulful.
“Explain It To Me” by Liz Phair
The riff in this song is really simple yet gets under your skin in the best way. The guitar tone and her voice are so warm. Every time I want to relax and just stare off into space, I put this song on and it puts me the best head space.
“Rudderless” by The Lemonheads
My family always loved The Lemonheads so their music is really nostalgic for me. I was always shocked that they didn’t get the recognition that a lot of other Indie rock bands in the 90s got because their music is such a perfect blend of gritty and catchy which is something I strive for whenever I’m writing an upbeat chorus. The end of this song always gives me so much energy and fills my with good memories of my mom in the backyard bouncing her legs to the beat with a cigarette in her hand.
‘Voice Box’ is out on Fat Possum Records April 10th. Pre-order here.