Photo: Nicole Teckchandan
Brooklyn-based duo Boyish has found their place within the rise of bedroom pop and is proving that the distinctive genre sound is more than just a dreamy sonic experience. Comprised of singer-songwriter India Shore and guitarist Claire Altendahl, Boyish embodies the general consensus of Gen Z culture. From Studio Ghibli references to heavy self-reflection in their lyrics, Boyish has their finger firmly on the pulse of the new generation by simply being themselves.
With two albums under their belt, Carnation in 2018 and Garden Spider in 2020, they're releasing a new EP titled We’re all gonna die, but here’s my contribution. After a year like 2020, the title alone is bound to make anyone feel seen, or at least turn some heads.
The new single is "Howls," inspired by the 2004 Studio Ghibli animated film, Howl's Moving Castle, which has seen a recent resurgence in popularity. For those unfamiliar, the corresponding music video provides a sneak peak, with India and Claire performing in front of a green screen showing clips of the film.
The lyrics will satisfy Studio Ghibli fans, clearly being inspired by the perspective of the protagonist's perspective. "We wanted it to feel sonically like we were in the meadow with Howl as he eats a fallen star,“ shares Boyish. But for those unfamiliar with the story, the track remains powerful with it's desperately romantic lyricism and dreamy production.
We’re all gonna die, but here’s my contribution is a cathartic EP for the Boyish duo. Throughout the tracks, there is rumination on past experiences and weighty self-examination. In the first track, "Whatshisname," they sing, "Remember your high school graduation? This year has felt just like that. How did it go so f*cking fast?" In terms of COVID-19 era lyrics, this one is perfectly representative of the young adult experience throughout this odd time.
For a four track EP, Boyish touch on a substantial amount of relevant, universal sensations. Although three tracks have been previously released, listening to the full project provides a level of impressive cohesion. "Superstar," touches on the duality of craving isolation and unconditional partnership. "Your Best Friend" is universally relatable, but especially for Boyish's fellow LGBTQ+ listeners who have experienced feeling insecure in a relationship due to outside opinions and influences.
With succinct sonic cohesion, soft vocals that still pack a punch, and sophisticated lyrics that carry a youthful spirit, Boyish have provided a companion during this strange, transitional time. We’re all gonna die, but here’s my contribution is a vulnerable but necessary release for Boyish.