BOY :: Mutual Friends
The writer in me loves telling stories, both real and imagined, about relationships and how they are found, how they expand, how they collapse, how they start, and how they end (if they end). I am forever fascinated by people and their stories, both real and imagined, and have a never sated need to hear and read more. The music fan in me loves to hear stories in songs, and cannot help but adore an album that tells a story, in its entirety, from the starting song to the last note. BOY’s new release, Mutual Friends, is one of those albums; a collection of songs that tell the personal tale of how they met and how their friendship became what it is now, the story in the music of the two great friends – Valeska Steiner and Sonja Glass.
The opening track is lovely and simple, a light and airy track that fits its title, This is the Beginning, feeling that gentle promise of new starts, first pages, and introductions. I am immediately reminded of Feist and some of the less melancholic songs from The Postal Service. The repeated lyric of “this is the beginning” starts the album in a very organic way, and has me both delighted and intrigued to turn the page, hear the next song, learn what happens next. I get the feeling that “this is the beginning” of something very beautiful.
The next track, Waitress, is my first listen favorite. I love the captured moment the song creates, the visual in the lyrical refrains. I love all the tiny details that bring the setting to life, the jukebox, the Diet Coke and cake. I feel like the camera is coming into focus and the scene is opening up to a busy city diner, the kind that people from every imaginable walk of life step into, and I am watching all the life buzzing around, the energy, the movement. The focus narrows to the title track “waitress” and we see the far off look in her eyes, how she is partially there in the thick of all of it, but also partially somewhere far off in her future, daydreaming of what she wants to come next , as the lyrics say, “the waitress is waiting“.
Little Numbers already has hit it among the music blog online universe, and I can see/hear why. This is the most infectious, pop-infused number on the album, and I am again reminded of Feist, especially of her indie pop hit, 1234. The song is about that first flush of excitement about someone else, the butterfly flutters, the way the other person seems to be in technicolor now, brilliant and bright and beautiful. All you want to do is connect, talk for hours, and trade those seven little numbers that make up future phone calls. I remember there was a time before cell phones, when we all memorized those seven little numbers, especially of someone we were falling for – whether that “falling” was to be friends, or to be lovers.
Drive Darling is a fast favorite of mine, too. I have such a soft spot for songs about driving, and songs about being on the road. This song reminds me of my closest friends, and how there is nothing like getting in the car together and just going anywhere, or nowhere, together. There are truths that come out in the longest of car rides, in those traded conversations between gas stations and other roadside attractions. I have fallen in love while driving next to someone special, and I have confessed my deepest darkest in the confines of a car, with my most trusted as passengers.
Boris is such a sexy song, playful and seductive and irresistible. This is one of those songs that illicit affairs are made of, kisses in the shadows, insinuations and invitations for more, on the side, on the sly, in secret. I love the back beat to this song, the darkness tinged dive bar feel to the music, and the way the voices build, as if with each new note, and repeated line, is leading up to a delicious climax, and then it ends, quiet again, almost a whisper, that lingering suggestive suggestion.
The last song is lovely and lulling and lush. It feels like a promise of forever, of hands held, of an understanding that comes from people who finally land comfortably with each other. The song feels like coming home, and is a wonderful way to end the album because it is not an ending at all, just an ending of a beginning, and a beginning of the rest of all the stories. This song feels like the best part of falling in love, the settling in to the love, to the comfort of the love itself. This feels like a more believable “they lived happily ever after“.
This is the Beginning