by Daniel Kussy
Four years in the making, having played countless shows that have taken them across the sea and back, Boniface’s release of their self titled debut marks the return of singer-songwriter turned pop savant Micah Visser.
Those familiar with Boniface and their slow trickle of music since their inception will find themselves already familiar with a large portion of the album, though the track listing is curated nicely and gives the listener a peek into Micah Vissers progression as a producer. On tracks such as the 80’s driven bedroom dance party anthem “Dear Megan,” the synths glisten and shimmer as Visser finds their voice and flows in tandem. The pairing of “I Will Not Return As a Tourist” and “Keeping Up” is a nostalgic revisit for any listener lucky enough to have embraced Vissers pre-Boniface material, as these tracks have aged and grown to a better version of themselves as said listeners have.
Considering the time taken to compose the songs collected for this album, the subject matter is consistent and leaves a foundation for a potential overarching story. The young lovers in “Waking Up in Suburbia” are innocent and hesitant, though they know what’s between them is only temporary. In “Making Peace With Suburbia,” the two are separated through distance, emotion, and one’s self conscious efforts to put space between them. In between, the songs on the album share experiences of fantasizing about escaping to new destinations, the fear and anxiety that comes with escapism, the feeling of suspension by a thread, when the right words abandon you at a moment’s notice, and rediscovering old feelings in moments of intimacy.
Vissers evocative lyricism creates a setting with enough detail and emotion for the listener to live in the scenario.
Boniface’s debut effort captures the essence of the 80’s synth pop sound, with everything from the sound to the album art, featuring Visser sitting on a Pontiac Fiero down a backroad in rural Manitoba. Much like the Fiero, this album is a catalyst for a young creative force ready to leave their small St. Boniface neighbourhood, outgrow the limits of their city and embrace the world as the world embraces them.
For fans of: White Lies, The Human League, The Killers