Keeping The Beat In Our Rural Capital
JONATHAN BOULET is a man of many talents. If writing, performing and producing his hugely successful debut album wasn’t enough of a coup, he also just finished work on his second album, slated for even more success than the first. To top it all off he has managed to grow the kind of mammoth beard that could make a 40-year-old lumberjack quiver in fear.
According to Boulet the beard required almost as much perseverance and concentration as the albums – a year’s worth of staying strong and not shaving, no matter how strong the urge grew.
“Most groups have that conversation… you know, like, ‘Hey, let’s all grow beards!’” Boulet laughs. Not my girlfriends, but I see where he’s coming from.
“Everyone else bailed in the first couple of months and I was like, ‘I’m going to keep going, see where it goes’.”
When it came to his second album, We Keep The Beat, Found The Sound, See The Need, Start The Heart, Boulet exercised more of a precise approach. Full of rich, dense tracks featuring layers of instruments and group vocals, the album is the perfect follow on from 2008’s self-titled debut. It’s a bigger and broader product building on the foundations of that sound his fans are already addicted to.
“I just wanted it to be as big as I could make it and for me I think more layers means a bigger sound,” Boulet explains of the album’s sound. “But that isn’t always the case, sometimes you can choke a song by putting too much in!”
Luckily, that isn’t the case with We Keep The Beat. The tracks are multi-layered without being confusing and the sounds complement each other perfectly. The big sound of tracks like Trounce and This Song Is Ragged demonstrate Boulet’s matured style, and the collective effort that went into the album.
In particular, the vocal density of the album is incredibly satisfying to the listener. This time around, rather than relying on layers of his own voice, Boulet allowed more bodies into his parent’s garage (aka his recording studio) to build the sound.
“On the first [album] it lacked that sound, it lacked a real group sound. So we got in the band and the band’s friends and my parents and we all got into the garage and sang the vocals together.”
Luckily for Canberrans, Boulet will be stopping by our humble city on his upcoming tour [Ed: No, he won’t] to promote We Keep The Beat, Found The Sound, See The Need, Start The Heart. Having played here before, most notably for GTM in 2010, he’s pretty psyched to get back to it. [Ed: Spurious.]
“I love rural Australia! It’s so nice being in smaller towns, there’s just a vibe about it that isn’t there in bigger cities,” he says. I’ll forgive him for calling Canberra ‘rural’, but only because his music is exquisite.
Jonathan Boulet has cancelled his Canberra show citing excessive amounts of food caught in his face hair. It doesn’t deserve to be called a beard.