When reviewing a music release, I prefer delving straight into the meat (i.e. the music). But sometimes, the band’s story is so unique and/or inspiring that I feel compelled to share it. This is the case with a band I just discovered, Boy + Kite (pronounced boys plus kite), a band that started strong, opening for various acts, playing in SXSW 2012 and for the Center of the Universe Festival in Toronto, and hitting the top 10 chart on a major radio station in their hometown of Austin.
Then, in December 2013, one of the band members (Darvin Jones) suffered a traumatic head injury. He spent a considerable amount of time hospitalized in critical condition, and in the initial stages of his recover, wasn’t sure he would be able to play music again. This steeled his resolve and, after a miraculous recovery, Boy + Kite was ready to record again.
Released on October 21, 2014, their new EP, Blueprint, consists of three songs recorded by the now four-person band: Darvin Jones, Beth Puorro, Giuseppe Ponti, and Marc Henry. The quartet has created a dreamlike escape defined by soft rock sensibilities. Upbeat tempos, enthusiastic guitars, intertwining male and female vocals, and a mixture of alternating swelling and ebbing of sound are combined to create a nostalgic effect that runs throughout the album.
While featuring only minimal guitar, “Either Way” makes heavier use of bass. “Turned Sideways” is composed as a slow buildup of layers that begins with drumming to which bass, then guitars, and, finally, vocals are added. “Touching the Sun” features a tambourine which goes well with the higher level of energy of this track. The contrast between the more cheerful melody and the sometimes melancholic singing is at its highest in this track.
Probably a great band to see live, Boy + Kite have put together in Blueprint a short EP that will make many want to hear much more from them.