Five Favourites: Why Bonnie

The latest full-band project from Texan artist Blair Howerton, Why Bonnie released their debut Water back in 2018 and have now returned, announcing their upcoming EP Voice Box, set for release next month.

Title track and lead single, ‘Voice Box’, oozes sunny uplifting vibes as shimmering hooks and Howerton’s rich, luscious vocals flow with a soaring emotion; a truly dreamy offering fuzzing with a dazzling, effervescent charm.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them or influences their writing. We caught up with Blair, who has shared her “Five Favourites” – five albums that particularly resonate with them. Check out her choices below, and make sure you watch Why Bonnie’s new video for ‘Voice Box’ at the bottom of this post.

Liz Phair – Exile In Guyville
I first heard this album in college and haven’t found anything to top it since. I‘d grown up with her big pop hits, but this album was a totally different vibe. She blended that classic ’90s angst with heartfelt sweetness so beautifully and all of the melodies are really subtle yet effective. The whole sound felt very familiar but in an exciting way. I’ve listened to the track ‘Explain It To Me’ maybe a thousand times and I never get sick of it. The album is also really long and has a really good variety of sounds, so I recommend it for anyone that’s currently self isolating!

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
This album will always remind me of my childhood. Out of all of the classic rock albums that I grew up with, this one was the most formative. Stevie Nicks was my idol growing up and we have the same birthday, so I’ve always felt weirdly connected to her. ‘Dreams’ is one of those tracks that will always bring me back to being seven years old on a beach in Galveston, Texas, twirling around with a towel doing my best Stevie impression. Also, that bass line is catchy as hell. 

Dear Nora – Three States: Rarities 1997 – 2007
This was my first introduction to Twee and the genre really resonated with me. This album in particular was sweet and sentimental but still had a fun, kinda sloppy, and whimsical edge to it. It’s poetic but not pretentious, and always puts me in a good mood.

The Breeders – Last Splash
Kim Deal is just a true fucking icon. Last Splash has such a good blend of disjointed scuzzy rock and pop sensibilities, which is something we strive for in our music. It’s the epitome of noise-pop and I believe it paved the way for a whole genre. Obviously we love Pixies as well, but The Breeders really honed in this sound in such a brilliant way.

Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Picking the best Pavement album is like talking about politics or religion with your family at Thanksgiving. Crooked Rain was my first introduction to Pavement, so that’s kind of the main reason for choosing it. What makes this record so special (and inspiring) is really the way they combine (both from a songwriting and performance standpoint) catchy, earworm-y melodies with absolute chaos. Pavement is such a special band because they’re able to mix seemingly contradictory elements into songs that you find yourself humming on a walk, in the grocery store, or waiting for the train. Tongue-in-cheek lyrics that with a beautiful guitar melody, dissonant guitar noise with heartfelt lyrics, or trying to play jazz as a slacker rock band. They remind me that it’s ok to not take yourself too seriously, and in doing that you can end up making music that’s incredibly catchy, inspiring, and meaningful. They kind of invite the listener to apply whatever kind of meaning they want to the songs, and inspire me to write whatever I’m feeling like playing or singing, knowing that it’s ok if a wrong note or nonsense lyric (or several) find their way onto the record. 

Massive thanks to Blair for sharing her Five Favourites with us! Why Bonnie’s new EP Voice Box is out 10th April via Fat Possum Records. Watch the video for the title track:

Photo Credit: Pooneh Ghana

FIVE FAVOURITES: Bones Garage

Tel Aviv-based band Bones Garage have been making music together for the last 6 years. Formed of Ariel Pedatzur, Eden Atad, Yaniv Bin, Dor Harari, Yoni Deutsch and Raz Copperman, they’ve played stages at Glastonbury, SXSW, All Points East, and The Great Escape, and are set to release their third record in May this year. Influenced by elements of post-punk, surf rock and shoegaze, the six piece create intriguing soundscapes, but their latest single ‘I’ve Loved’ shows the band can also deliver stripped back, gentler tracks too. 

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Bones Garage to ask them about their “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced their song writing techniques. Check out their choices below, and scroll down to watch the video for ‘I’ve Loved’ at the end of this post.

1. John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band
Like many others, we grew up as Beatles freaks. The first show Eden and Yaniv ever played together was a Beatles covers show at their school. But somehow this album ended up resonating with us more than any Beatles record. It’s raw, personal, heartbreaking, broken, yet perfectly beautiful. The experiments and cleverness of The Beatles was replaced by bare-minimum arrangements. As a band of six people, our initial arrangements are rarely minimal, but this album is a great reminder that sometimes simple and raw is the most beautiful.

2. Elliot Smith – Either/Or
We’ve been called many things – post-punk, surf, shoegaze, and so on – and the aesthetics in our music are indeed influenced by many genres. But that’s all extra stuff on top of the most important thing – the songwriting itself. We admire too many songwriters to list here, but Elliot Smith stands apart as one of the most open, sensitive, talented and emotional songwriters in history. Either/Or is the peak of his career, an album that perfectly sums up the emotions we strive to achieve in music.

3. Timber Timbre – Hot Dreams
It all started when Timber Timbre were scheduled to play in Israel, and we were asked to cover one of their songs to help promote the show. Somehow, we ended up as their opening act for two shows in Israel, years apart. We’ve discovered this great band together, and their lush, dark and dramatic style have influenced us greatly. The gentle, meaningful drumming of Olivier Farfield has been a great influence on our drummer Dor (who used to be an insanely loud metal drummer), and we’ve discovered and experienced their great music together, as a band. And also, we think our cover turned out pretty well (listen to it here).

4. Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
After a revolutionary debut album, Stephen Malkmus and Pavement delivered a masterpiece that’s everything rock music should aspire to be. It’s a nostalgic record, reminds us of hot summer days, makes you want to ride a skateboard with friends, listen to music and fall in love like when we were naïve teenagers. It’s full of humor and silliness, a reminder we shouldn’t always take ourselves too seriously, and still manages to be profound and meaningful. It sounds like it was made up on the spot and recorded in one take, yet every note and word is right where it should be. And besides, Stephen Malkmus really is something special.’Middle America’ is, hands down, one of the best songs we’ve heard in the last few years.

5. The Microphones – The Glow Pt 2.
When we were teens, Eden and Yaniv recorded a string of weird, ambitious albums on their own in a home studio. Most of them honestly weren’t great at all, but it helped us become who we are. So it’s great to see such a masterpiece like “The Glow Pt. 2” made in a home studio. Phil Elverum has combined raw, emotional, stark songwriting with experimentation and weird noises, taking us to an emotional journey that has deeply influenced our music, and they way we’ve learned to use noise to express ourselves.

Thanks to Bones Garage for sharing their favourites with us. Follow the band on Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Eirad Netzer