Queen Bonobo Debut Album
I met Maya Goldblum outside a show Queen Son played in Georgetown sometime in the eternal bleak blur of the Seattle rain months. She has the sort of smooth porcelain face of a renaissance painting and carries herself with a grace that supports her striking old world beauty. As the bonfire burned, I discovered she was enroute to her residence in Derry, Northern Ireland after visiting her hometown of Sandpoint, ID. The juxtaposition of a childhood blooming alongside the mountains and lake I had once terrorized with my teenage friends and a chosen future in a misty corner of a romantic European island fascinated me. Before she dashed into the industrial fog, I was lucky enough to receive an unofficial copy of an album she was working on under the name Queen Bonobo. That album, titled Light Shadow Boom Boom, officially arrived to the public on Friday. It feels quite special to listen to it online after months of playing it in the car whenever my aux chord was missing, a gift from a mysterious wandering woman.
Queen Bonobo’s style is best described as intuitive. Her father is a lifelong jazz musician who pulled her into performances as early as three years old. The result is a constantly shifting combination of jazz and folk that leaps between moods and styles like watching a mountain antelope find footing in sheer cliffs. The closest thing I could describe it to is the Appalachian cult favorite Diane Cluck, but regardless if your heart is drawn to modern balladeers like Big Thief, Weyes Blood, Laura Marling or Bats for Lashes, load up this album in their place and enjoy.
The second track “Vintage Gouda” exemplifies the album for me. The chorus is simple, almost childish-
There will be times when you feel lonely
Not really sure what’s going on with your life
Well you may as well die happy
Queen Bonobo takes you with her into an exploration of the mundane mood swings and existential crises that plague all individuals. It’s easy to talk about our inner heroine, our own dangerous and sexy uniquenesses, but a lot harder to focus on our only true collective connection- there will be times when you are lonely and don’t know what the fuck is going on, but hopefully you’ll move forward before you’re dead. Let’s try together.
Let your body go
Your mind is already gone
So often in our late capitalist society, the illusion of control becomes a shield under which we survive in isolation. Queen Bonobo calls you out by pointing at herself, you were never in control, you aren’t even paying attention. Your mind is already gone- relax and run with it.
For each song in the album, an artist friend of Maya’s made an image. “I asked them to each interpret an album track that I thought suited their style and vibe and I am pure astonished at the brilliance that has come through,“ she told me in the email. Please enjoy the art below and check out Queen Bonobo’s debut album Light Shadow Boom Boom on Bandcamp or Spotify!