Now signed to Fat Possum, Austin-based Why Bonnie follow up their 2018 Sports Day Records release ‘In Water’ with brand new EP ‘Voice Box’. You will (and if not, why not?) have heard the title track from the EP which finds Blair Howerton sharing her frustrations and anger at the way men treat all female-identifying people and the effect this has on mental health (‘I don’t wanna yell. Take my voice box out. I can’t control myself’), but how does the rest of this eagerly awaited EP sound?
Woozy and evocative melodies indicate the start of EP opener ‘Bury Me’ as Blair sings about ‘waiting for it to fix itself’ before the title track veers into more of a ‘I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning’-era Bright Eyes sound. ‘Athlete’ finds the guitars turned up – and this change in tone is matched by the intense delivery of Blair’s vocals: ‘I wish I was an athlete, wish I was good on my feet’.
Ever wondered what it would sound like if Waxahatchee went DIY? ‘Jetplane’ comes close to answering. The closing ‘No Caves’ has more of a modern emo sound (think a potent combination of Soccer Mommy, Rosie Tucker, Ratboys and Restorations) with heartfelt yet powerful metaphors running through the lyrics that sum up a scrabbled state of mind: ‘I want to be stretched like a rubber band, I want to be cracked like an egg and worry that I’m spreading myself thin. Buy me a home in a foreign land’; ‘I want to take off your clothes, set us on fire, just to see where the smoke goes’.
Why Bonnie’s ‘Voice Box’ is an EP worth shouting about.