You have the horizon all to yourself; you know this to be a fact. Under what seems to be a serene twilight, you go ahead and take a deep breath as you sit on a hill that overlooks the shorelines, listening to its hums and roars. Things have been tough – you start thinking to yourself. There is an itch that you are able to ignore most of the times, yet in this very moment, you feel it slowly consuming your extremities. In an automatic fashion, you begin scratching.
Disheartening thoughts circle in your mind; those of abrupt changes, of diminishing hope for the goodwill of others, and of dubious self-worth. This is something you are accustomed to, but damn, does it get tiresome every time it happens. As you feel yourself in the cusp of disquietude, a brush of wind softly traces your face. You open the palms of your hands to further give into its caresses as you look up to the sky and notice its starry semblance. You become in-tune with the waves’ ebb and flow, still humming rhythmically. The bleakness that was about to surround you whole starts dissipating. Once more, you take a deep breath.
This too shall pass.
Welcome to another WFA, dear readers! I think we can all agree that we all have passed through the aforementioned scenario one way or another. Considering this – and regardless of the many different ways we cope with the internal turmoil that seep through our minds when we least expect it – there exists a collective awareness to listen and be listened. It is this sense of vulnerability that pushes one to thrive for the next day, and the ones after that. At least, this week’s featured band is sure of this.
Boston Marriage, composed of Kris Lane and Melissa Pereira (vocals and guitar), Shane O’Brien (drums), and Kaylie Sang (bass), is an Orlando-based quartet formed in 2016 that I can only characterize as being ethereal, catchy, and lyrically relevant. With just one EP and four singles under their belt, they have quite a lot to offer and much more to say.
For our followers who have yet to lend their ears to this exciting band, they describe their sound as ‘dreamy and emotional (with a side of rock and roll)’. Simple, succinct, and straight to the point; this is a perfect summation of their music. Their blend of indie/alternative rock and dream pop is to die for, and a unique one at that. Take it from me: when I discovered them two years ago after falling into a Facebook rabbit hole and listened to their single “Know You Were”, I was instantly enamored with the lush that sprung out of the track, entrancing you in an instant.
Further describing their sound, the band comments:
‘Harmonies are an important part of how we establish our sound. Mel and Kris grew up singing together, and it’s the combination of those harmonies and Shane and Kaylie’s creative input that make Boston Marriage what it is.’
This knack for harmonies has been present ever since their debut effort Personal Space. Songs like the silky smooth “Gowns” and the hard-hitting “Rachel in the Dark Room” manage to find a solid marriage (nope, not acknowledging this subpar pun) between airy yet upfront vocal delivery and the head-bopping grooves thanks to the stellar drum and bass playing.
In 2018 and 2019, Boston Marriage released the aforementioned single “Know You Were” and “Man Who Wasn’t There” respectively, further expanding their songwriting prowess. A cool tidbit surrounding both tracks (and the subsequent singles) is that they were recorded and produced by Blake Harnage, who is known for collaborating with bands like Hands Like Houses and All Time Low.
‘Working with Blake has been great! It was our first time working with a producer and it gave us the freedom to experiment in the studio to find the perfect sound. We learned a lot and were able to really find our sound.’
Both singles pummel you with a wall of sound coming from the guitars – reminiscent of the shoegaze subgenre – as the rhythm section drives the tracks forward with a sense of urgency not uncommon within the rock ethos. Also, and I cannot stress this enough, they are catchy as hell.
Not everything is meant to be lush and dreamy for Boston Marriage, however. Dig deep enough and you will find lyrics that channel inner struggles that are all too familiar. For them, lyrics are not just afterthoughts that act as the missing pieces to finish a song; they are a vessel for communication and understanding.
‘Lyrics have always been important to Boston Marriage, and from the beginning, the topic of mental health has been an important subject to us. We want new listeners to know that even if they feel like they’re alone, they aren’t. We all struggle and that’s okay.’
This is particularly evident in the band’s latest single “Idol”. Amid their signature dream pop-tinged indie rock sound (with some stylistic surprises!), the themes of growth, acceptance, and overcoming are ever so present, serving as a consoling voice and as a reminder that ‘No matter how great things look from the outside, we all struggle with different things and the best thing we can do for ourselves is to push through until things get better’.
The same can be said about their most recent effort “Purity”, released last year. To add to that, the band shared with me an interesting fact revolving around it: while the track was developed during the pandemic, the lyrics were actually written by co-vocalist and guitarist Pereira during high school. What is particularly curious here is how relevant the lyrics read considering the unfortunate pandemic we have been passing through for the past year. The band said it best when they added ‘…and “Purity” is one of those songs that seems to evolve to fit the current day struggles we’re facing’. Pretty surreal, to be honest, and it just goes to show you how timeless and pertinent your music can become, given the circumstances.
Indeed, the dedication to address mental health issues is nothing but commendable, especially now when the pandemic has forced us to live life within our own confines, longing for some sort of human connection. Yet, Boston Marriage are making sure that we regardless get to feel a sense of community throughout their music, much like the local scene where the band originated.
‘We come from the Florida DIY scene and there’s a huge emphasis on community. It’s important to us to keep those values of helping each other out and keeping the community a safe and inclusive place where predators aren’t welcome. We want to make sure everyone feels comfortable when they come out to see us.’
Being one of the countless bands affected by the lack of shows and overall social gatherings thanks to COVID-19, it is very cool to see how their music reflects this need for camaraderie and sense of belonging, ultimately maintaining and building stronger ties with their Florida ‘DIY scene’ and, in turn, the rest of the world.
Depending on how the pandemic situation is handled throughout 2021, the band is looking forward to head to the studio and record the songs that they have been working on, along with touring once it is safe to do so. What will the next couple of songs sound like, you might ask yourself? Well, you are in shit luck, bud:
‘…We don’t really set out with specific goals to change our sound, it just goes in whatever direction best fits the feelings and emotions we’re trying to convey. The next release might be totally different from our past songs depending on what we write about!’
All in all, whenever you feel the itch beginning to intrude you once again, take a deep breath and think of Boston Marriage. Because through them, you will surely find comfort, solace, companionship, and absolutely kickass music, much like the breeze of the wind, the night full of stars, and the hums of the shoreline.
‘We just want everyone to know that we can’t wait to be able to play shows and see everyone again. Stay safe and healthy, we love you!’
Boston Marriage are:
Kris Lane – vocals/guitar
Melissa Pereira – vocals/guitar
Shane O’Brien – drums
Kaylie Sang – bass
Give these nice people a visit to their official website for more information. Make sure to also follow their Bandcamp and socials (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) to be updated with new releases and other fun stuff. I’ll be waiting.