After the successful release of their first EP, Cold Blood, Josiah and the Bonnevilles have started to release singles from their upcoming record, On Trial. The first release, titled “Please,” and its accompanying video, feature Josiah’s powerful voice and the bands authentic roots sound, reminiscent of Joe Pug and Langhorne Slim.
Josiah’s guitar playing, energetic and unrelenting, suggests a fuzzy Saturday night. The intro sets a scene of a late night bar, a solo singer using the guitar as a backing for the story he is trying to tell. The constant, almost machine-like strumming throughout leaves room for Josiah’s folk-powered voice and the lyrical content to shine through–namely, a song about contradiction and about asking for help and then turning it down. Josiah said the song is about “the rejection of the help you ask for once you receive it.”
The songs verses use detailed and almost outlandish imagery of broken hearts, Russian planes, and crumpled dollar bills to describe a man confused about how he got into a tough situation. Josiah describes these verses as depicting “a girl, a beer, a snickers, a fake bag of blow, snake oil, a new cure…” The song’s highlight is the strong chorus. The band breaks into a more straightforward rhythm and the mix of bass, tambourine, and light piano really serve for a more memorable hook.
The video, full of stock imagery of vintage American commercials is definitely another risk that the group took on. The video doesn’t follow in the footsteps of their previous video, “Long Gone,” which featured cuts of Josiah and his acoustic walking through a field, rather the new video seems relatively disconnected from the music. Fans of more experimental videos will especially enjoy the artistic choices here; the lyric “ticket to disaster” coming in right as the video shows an old Blockbuster commercial. The video seems to offer something new with every watch.
Josiah and the Bonnevilles will be playing at El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, CA on June 12–pick up your tickets here!