By John Arthur
Boy Things embody all that is indie pop: The cover of their new Jan. 1 release, a photograph by Ryan Jenq, shows the band having fun, seemingly overjoyed, playing Nintendo 64 while the five members share a single couch.
One can glean more about their sound from this image than is normally possible from an album cover—their newest EP, “Growing Up,” is undeniably joyful, and Robert Aldo Blake’s synth work gives each track a slightly Nintendo-esque background.
Beth Hansen’s vocals are spot-on throughout, with slight vocal effects that make her sound one part Julian Casablancas and one part Emily Haines.
On the second track of the three song EP, “Disengagement,” the song abruptly changes after roughly a minute, and when a male voice begins, the band sounds like Interpol or even Joy Division, then, a minute later, they manage to transition right back. This is all accomplished seamlessly.
“Disengagement” is also the song that is most about growing up. It begins with a series of questions from Hansen: “Am I ready for beginning? Am I ready for the aisle?”
In the song’s crescendo, a lyric more directly to the point cuts through as the instruments cut out for a moment: “I’m not prepared to live.”
The EP tells a story common in post-adolescence: One is faced with a never-ending onslaught of life changing decisions, yet sometimes one still feels a bit like a child, and sometimes sitting around on a couch with your friends playing old video games seems the only cure.
The bands’ sound is somehow fun, catchy and upbeat while at the same time conveying an underlying sense of worry and fear. Despite this dichotomy, the songs never feel forced. Boy Things is a band that knows what it is doing.
“Growing Up” by Boy Things is available as a free download from bandcamp.com.