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Album reviews
Artist:
Boniface
Album:
Boniface
Release year:
2020
Label:
Transgressive
30 March 2020 / by Solveiga Procivaite (author)

Similar Artists: Tame Impala, Circa Waves, Blaenavon

 

If there is any artist within the synthpop genre that deserves more recognition for their powerful storytelling, that would be Canadian artist Micah Visser. The artist behind Boniface, Micah takes listeners on an emotionally charged ride through an album that delves into coming of age, relationships, break-ups, and immense soul-searching.

Boniface opens up with the ballad “Waking Up in Suburbia” in which Micah perfectly captures the chaos building up inside his mind as he contemplates leaving his hometown of Manitoba: “In a city I’m a stranger to, alone with you, I lost my mind”.  

“Keeping Up” and “Dear Megan” both act as a personal diary that explores the idea of friendship and apologizing to a loved one. In addition, you can feel the vulnerability and fresh outlook that Visser has on this subject matter as he chants “I just need you to calm me down like late night CBC radio” which follows with “How can I help you when I’m running from the same damn thing?”. 

Throughout Boniface, there are countless tracks that amplify in richness. “Oh My God” is an ode that proves to be worth the listen as the chorus repeatedly soars “Oh my god, you’re the watch that fell off someone else’s wrist”. The rhythm is fun and genuinely lovable, guaranteed to get anybody dancing. 

Without doubt two of the most memorable songs off Boniface would be “It’s a Joke” and “Ghosts”. With these two tracks, Visser incorporates gentle basslines and mixes in glistening guitar riffs over soulful lyrical moments. 

Three unsuccessful tracks off this album include “Wake Me Back Up”, “Again And Again” and “For Love”. Each track ranges for a duration of three minutes and upholds an emotionless rhythm, cold-hearted chorus.  

In “It’s a Joke” the artist reflects upon how tough it can be to cope with criticism when people around laugh at his work as emphasized in the verse “Cold hands, fake laughs as we’re waking up”. Meanwhile, in “Ghosts” Visser relentlessly hints at the notion of leaving his previous small-town life as mentioned “Ain’t it kind of funny how we still don’t like the bed we’re sleeping in or the town where we reside?”.

Needless to say, the quiet sounds take a drastic turn in “Wake Me Back Up” and “Phantom Limbs”. “Wake Me Back Up” examines the intricacy behind youthful love while “Phantom Limbs” explores singer Micah Visser’s resentment towards his friends.   

The final track “Making Peace With Suburbia” is the sister song to “Waking Up in Suburbia”. Returning to a delicate piano ballad, Visser pleads a heartbroken plea: “I’m saying that I want you back, but I just want to feel young, and I just want to feel loved”.  

Boniface is an intricate album, powered by Visser’s incredible and irresistible lyrical content. It is an uneven but nonetheless uncompromising  album while that manages to fuse catchy musical elements into a satisfying throwback to the sounds of the 1980s. 

 

Rating: 6/10 

 

The author

Solveiga Procivaite

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