Year 2, Day 2: BOY – Mutual Friends
- This Is The Beginning
- Little Numbers
- Drive Darling
- Waltz for Pony
- Oh Boy
- Silver Streets
About the Album
Mutual Friends, is the debut album from Hamburg (Germany) based singer-songwriter duo, BOY. BOY is combination of Swiss singer Valeska Steiner and German bassist Sonja Glass. (Surprised that a group by the name of “BOY” is actually two women?). Mutual Friends was released in 2011 in Germany and is certified Gold there and it was also released in 2013 in North America. Mutual Friends comes in at 48 minutes.
Thoughts on the Album
Remember yesterday when I said I’m a sucker for a good female vocalist/singer? Valeska Steiner’s voice just gives me chills. Her voice is both soft, yet loud and carrying a wide range of octaves. Where Steiner lacks in low octaves, Glass makes up for it. The thing about duos when it comes to music is, they have to be able to compliment each other. Steiner and Glass do just that on their debut release, Mutual Friends.
If you are wondering, “well why haven’t I heard this yet/before?” It’s because European artists and bands have a tendency to release their albums in their home country first, before then spreading out. Of course, if they are big enough act, then they obvious don’t need to do that.
I would best describe Mutual Friends as a combination of different genres, but mainly a mix of folk-pop, alternative, pop, and indie. But it is mainly pop, and of course, the Europeans obviously seem to have a different take on it.
Mutual Friends relies heavily on Steiner’s crisp vocals and the duo’s ability and knack for storytelling. For example, “Little Numbers” is entrancing tune with its simple lyrics and Steiner’s accent-riddled melodies. Of course, I’d be stupid to forget about Glass’ basslines throughout the album, no more prominent on “Drive Darling” and “Skin”.
I’ll admit that that some of the songs really don’t appeal to me, but most albums are like that. We have are songs that we like, and the ones we dislike on albums. The beauty of Mutual Friends is that is a lighthearted album, sans the track “Boris,” which does a 180 and goes slightly darker.
This one is definitely a change of pace compared to the one yesterday, and the 40 other albums from year one!
I remember trying out the then new iTunes Radio feature on my phone and listening to BOY’s “Skin” on the (either) Mando Diao or Johnossi radio station. I was almost blown away, because it was a departure from the rest of the songs on that radio station. That said, I immediately fell in love with it and had to check out the rest of the album. Suffice to say, I was not disappointed.
The Swiss singer, Valeska Steiner’s vocals are almost dream-like, and the harmonies from Sonja Glass just add to everything awesome about this album. But let’s take Mutual Friends for what it is: it’s singer-songwriter pop. But that’s okay.
Every time I listen to Mutual Friends, it just seems to get better and better. Between catchy riffs in “Little Numbers,” “Oh Boy,” and “Skin” to the driving bassline in “Drive Darling,” the album as a little bit of everything. Mutual Friends demonstrates Steiner and Glass’ intelligent songwriting, as well as also managing to seemingly and effortlessly win the heart of the listener. I know it did with me.
While it probably isn’t going to be the most forward-thinking album you’ll ever hear, but as a debut, Mutual Friends from BOY is a record that’s all too easy to fall head over heels for. One final number, definitely check out the live performances of these songs, especially “Little Numbers”.