BOY @ Mutual Friends

BOY ain't boy but yet they are the new Swiss/German duo who was just debuted a blissful and magical album entitled <Mutual Friends>. Indeed, <This is the beginning> as well as the track 1 song title for this two 'mutual" friend Valeska Stiener and Sonja Glass march to the singing life of success. You don't need to spend a long time to enjoy their music as their music are suffused with equal parts of joy and melancholy and that reflects the their personality flawlessly. Seven years since they first met at a music course in Hamburg, Germany, their conversations are fuelled by laughter, their thoughts frequently running parallel as they finish each other’s sentences. “We’re like,” laughs Sonja, before Valeska interjects, “…an old couple.” That's the chemistry a duo/group should have in producing one of those most liable albums.
The story of their rise from musicians living in separate cities – Valeska grew up in Zurich, Switzerland, while Sonja is from Hamburg. Though they met on the second day of that 2005 seminar and immediately felt a strong musical connection, it was another two and a half years before they began to work together: Valeska, who had sung from an early age in Switzerland, going on to gain experience with a number of bands of differing styles was committed to other projects at home, while Sonja, who grew up playing the cello before studying bass guitar in the Netherlands, continued to play with other German acts. But Sonja had known from the first moment they played together that, were she to form a band of her own, Valeska would have to be the singer. In fact, she didn’t even seek an alternative. Finally, in 2008, she received an email from Valeska suggesting they give collaboration a try. Accepting the offer didn’t take a moment.
Their early attempts was to write by playing and singing together proved ineffective, and it took a while for them to find a method that suited them both. Eventually Sonja began emailing instrumental tracks to Valeska, who then worked on lyrics and melodies for the songs that appealed most before they refined them together. Nonetheless, they began performing shows to small crowds as a duo, starting out in modest clubs in Switzerland and Germany, taking the train to shows, or borrowing a car from Valeska’s mother. Eventually their perseverance paid off: they were offered the opportunity to open for two more established acts, and suddenly found themselves on stage before audiences in their thousands.

With most of the album under their belts, the band still struggled to find a label, and even considered releasing the record alone. Given the reactions at shows, however, they knew they had an audience, and Anglo-German label Groenland finally stepped into the breach. Their show of faith proved prescient: BOY’s rapid ascent was beyond everyone’s wildest dreams, accelerated by a video for their debut single, <Little Numbers> is fun and playful which flawlessly captured the song’s allure. Filmed without a storyboard in Barcelona, it found the duo playing their music as they wandered the city’s streets, the honest, delighted responses of passing strangers caught on camera. Video ‘covers’ soon began to proliferate, as did anticipation for their album, and, though it was only released in a few European countries, sales swiftly spiraled to over 100,000. 
The album is utterly an unforced nature while lyrically it’s accessible to a result of Valeska’s own preference for music where the singer’s intent is clear. Musically it’s a complex affair that seems to adapt to the listener’s mood, capable of sounding both extraordinarily happy and exquisitely mournful. Some might compare the due with Russian Red of their similarity in vocal, and yet, remarkably, both are never depressing, instead offering a genuine warmth and comfort that’s hard to fake.
Personal favorite includes <This Is The Beginning>, <Waitress>, <Little Numbers>, <Drive Darling>, <Oh Boy>, <Skin>, <Silver Streets> and <July>.

Rating : 4/5

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