Album Review: Bonniesongs - 'Energetic Mind'
If you were to lean in so as to put your ears against the stoney walls of a barren museum at dusk, the whispered tales told may unnerve as soaked observations beyond the means of human dimensions are forevermore trapped inside glass boxes reaching to the heavens.
Like a richly absorbent pillar that’s built to last through a universe worth of knowledge, Irish native, Sydney emigrated Bonniesongs (Bonnie Stewart) releases her debut album Energetic Mind (via Small Pond Recordings); a brainchild of referenced pop-culture and art-folk inside a pearly mortar of passionately determined energy.
With plenty of slink to go around a loop-pedal of precision cased mastery, previously released single Barbara is not just a spine-tingling stylistic endeavour but a complete breakthrough, total mind and body shivering-ly masterpiece that’s almost too haunting to listen to in just one sitting.
As Bonniesongs echoes groan between spools of Hans Christian Anderson standard siren strings and overloads of fleshy zombie-d pine, (for this is a song about 1968’s: Night of the Living Dead no matter how hard you try to focus on the folkish beauty) take all the best layered harmonies of This Is All Yours, swoosh in a bit of gentle eerie and some acoustic road less travelled and suddenly you’ve uncovered the most subliminal bit of songwriting of the year so far.
Divine spellbinds makes is hard not to want to just sit and take it all in, in silenced rapture; just don’t get us started on those creeping bass licks. They will sprawl and they will pluck, running up and down the back of your head and going deep within your skin into a pool of draped velvet. Stewart has an un-akin knack for penning finely strung out unease. Not once does Energetic Mind allow or encourage it’s listener to grasp on to one pulse for longer than a blink of an eye as relentless attention spanned movement forces jolt onto jolt onto sudden breathy bass. “I’m already a monster” she stresses in Frank- a wholly badass number of fall-down-the-stairs shifted suffering whilst other stand outs include Ice Cream: a track devoted to just that because why not and (namely vanilla- instant classic) and the ever-soaring Coo Coo which thuds splendidly bit by bit like a satisfying back massage.
All in all this is a record for the inner weird hiding inside our inner weird: “I couldn’t ask for anything more”.
Words by Al Mills