Dan Lynch, Jesse Paller, Brendan Principato, Andy Senken, and Drew Sher make up the experimental rock band Boon. The band’s soft indie and folk sound is reminiscent of bands like Grizzly Bear and Animal Collective. Their recent single “Talking To” caught my ear, so we invited them to create a weekend playlist. For this playlist, the band explores songs that evoke “softness amidst chaos.” Check it out below, and keep an eye out for the band’s new record, Bad Machine, out September 2 on Window Sill Records.
—Keenan Kush, Talkhouse Director of Operations
Hello, I’m Brendan. I play in a Philly band called Boon. Our fourth record Bad Machine is coming out on September 2 via Window Sill Records. The album is in many ways about the array of effects we can experience as a result of entropy and anxiety, but even more so is an attempt to capture and depict experiences or moments that ground us and soften us through day-to-day havoc. For me this sometimes comes in the form of a sweet moment alone and other times it’s a friend pulling me out of the muck. In honor of the album’s imminent release, I’ve put together a playlist of some tunes I love that also seem to acknowledge the idea of softness amidst chaos. A lot of these songs are also admittedly made by pals of mine, but hey — I love them and I think you will too.
Sham — “Each Petal Pasted”
The final line of this song, “it feels good to be here with you,” sort of sums it all up for me. That’s all we get in this brief life. Moments with friends give us the clarity to pull back for a second and think, I feel good, this is good. Sham’s records are packed to the brim with simple phrases that capture so much.
The Cradle — “Never Play it Cool”
Paco is the most prolific and unsung musician I know. In my world, The Cradle would sell out MSG. There are at least 10 records by Paco that I consistently have on heavy rotation. This song is one of many in which Paco discusses fragility in a poignant way.
22° Halo — “What If”
The riff in this song cuts through a lopsided hissy haze like a needle and I wish it would go on forever.
Aisle Knot — “Feeling Strange”
Aisle Knot doesn’t mince words. Listen to everything they’ve released; it’s transporting, contemplative songwriting. On this track they present a retable mental state. Who isn’t waking up feeling strange, wondering what changed every couple of years? Months? Days? I definitely am.
Grouper — “Kelso (Blue Sky)”
This song hits with a bucolic snapshot of gratitude, fragility, and appreciation for time spent alone. Grouper is timeless, come on.
Florist — “Dandelion”
The more time that goes by, the more I see Florist as one of my biggest inspirations. Their music is so delicate, inviting, and tastefully produced. They’re also true masters when it comes to discussing softness amidst tragedy and chaos. I saw Emily play this song solo when they opened for The Microphones earlier this year and it blew my mind.
Karima Walker — “Reconstellated”
Dreamy, patient, muted, warm, and honest. This song is a cocoon.
Diatom Deli — “Thank you, Maya”
I love when an album ends with a song that’s just an ad nauseam rumination. It’s a sort of grateful hymn, toward a person who brought love into the songwriter’s life. It’s perfectly relatable, vague, and earnest all at once.
Constant Smiles — “Run to Stay”
Ben Jones, the deep head behind Constant Smiles is an insanely prolific musician. I recorded with him one time at his old Brooklyn apartment and there was an entire wall of cassettes. I asked what they were and he responded something like, “oh, those are just albums I made that I didn’t bother releasing.” This track is the smash hit single off Constant Smiles’ last record. There’s a big chorus on this one. Really cool simmering groove going on.
Tonstartssbandht — “Smilehenge”
The song’s final phrase, “Discover a person/To make em your purpose/Their heart is a canyon,” bookended with juicy loping jams — it’s a moment of peace and understanding and exploration and love. This song rips.
Maria Reis — “Olivia”
A floaty, wistful waltz blossoms into a driving celebratory romp. Amazing guitar tone, lush harmonies, splashy cymbals — that’s all I ever really need. This song is as fun as it is defiant of the dystopia.
Airhead DC — “My Pillow”
There’s a beautiful kaleidoscopic quality to this song. What begins as some sort of carnival ride through a fever dream emerges into a jubilant vortex of droney vocals, fuzzy guitar, whistling synths. Simple pleasures!
(Feature Photo Credit: Julia Leiby)