Seattle’s BOAT have been a favourite of mine for a good while now. Their brand of indie rock just sits right with me, not too serious so that it is great fun yet not overly wacky or crazy for the sake of it. It really is the perfect balance for singalong rock songs.
The lyrics often deal with real life issues but in a real real life way (if that makes any sense). Most artists dealing with ‘real life’ focus on the dark and painful bits, which is all well and good, but there is another side to ‘real life’ that is usually ignored, a sense of humour in the ordinary. For me, the songs and stories that BOAT’s D. Crane shares in his music explore this side of life in the way certain indie film directors would, a picture of normal people going about normal lives, something that I find very effective. For example, in ‘Lately’ from 2009’s Setting The Paces he sings: ’I was eating nachos, sitting with my mother, talking about nothing, talking about growing up in New Jersey.’ You can just imagine this being a scene in a Phil Morrison or crazier Aaron Katz movie.
Their new album, Pretend To Be Brave, looks to continue this style, at least superficially. The familiar bounce and carefree delivery is still apparent, but the lyrics are often deceptively morose. The first single ‘Inside an Aquarium’, a song about traffic accidents, reads: ’You cried when you realised it was good just to be alive.’ It’s weird, because even writing the words ‘a song about traffic accidents’ makes me think of melodrama and overwrought lyrics but this is the opposite. It’s the thoughts of a generally optimistic person singing about all of life, the good bits, the bad bits and everything in between. It’s the middle ground between ‘life-as-a-party’ and ‘life-as-a-struggle’ pop music (otherwise known as ‘reality’). It’s sloppy fun that is anything but whimsical. It’s brilliant.
You can pre-order the new album on Magic Marker Records.